The benefits of a plea deal in a criminal case
Anyone charged with a crime deserves the best possible outcome. This does not mean the best result that your lawyer can obtain, but it does mean the best possible result for him, the defendant. Do not allow your attorney to convince you of a plea deal unless and until the attorney has exhausted all other avenues to obtain the best possible outcome for you.
A good attorney can determine the best course of action after and only after a thorough examination of the evidence and interviews with all witnesses. Negotiations for a settlement with the prosecution should NEVER be the first option. However, a settlement with the prosecution is sometimes the best option and should NEVER be completely ignored in lieu of a trial or pleading guilty.
When someone faces criminal prosecution with the possibility of going to jail, they are under a great deal of stress. The stakes are high beyond loss of freedom, including significant financial loss, loss of reputation, and difficulties in future employment, among other likely consequences. Entering into an agreement with the prosecution means that you, as the defendant, are willing to accept a guilty plea that will have a negative effect on your record.
When the evidence in the case is strongly against the defendant and witnesses are likely to appear and testify at trial, it sometimes benefits the defendant to agree to a plea deal, as the penalties are almost always less than those likely to be imposed by the court. judge. at sentencing after being found guilty by a jury.
Occasionally, even a defendant completely innocent of the charges can benefit from a plea deal because the consequences seem more favorable. The defendant reasons that it is better to accept probation rather than risk losing at trial, which will result in a jail sentence.
Of course, it is rare for an innocent person to plead guilty not to face possible jail time for losing at trial, but it does happen.
In summary, the benefit to a defendant from entering into a plea bargain is to reduce his sentence for the alleged crime. Probation is common for first offenders in a plea deal, while the same defendant in the same case would be sentenced to prison if he goes to trial and loses.
Lastly, it cannot be emphasized enough that plea deal negotiations should not be the first option. The lawyer must at least examine the evidence and speak to witnesses, including the police officers who detained him. This will allow the attorney to clearly see potential defenses and weaknesses in both your case and that of the government. Then, and only then, will you be able to better decide your course of action: plea or trial negotiations.