You’ve Got a Deal...or Do You?

If you've recently been arrested, you might be looking forward to proving your innocence in court. However, not all of those arrested end up with a court case. While everyone has the right to a trial by a jury of their peers, there is a popular shortcut offered to many defendants that has them cutting out the jury trial entirely. To learn more about plea bargains and whether one might be right for you, read on.

Plea Bargains for All

Disposing court cases are typically promoted to be good for both the defendant and the prosecutor, but that may not be entirely accurate. They do appear to be wins for the state in more ways than one and here is why:

  1. As far as statistics go, a plea deal is considered a guilty verdict and benefits prosecutors who keep up with such things (and use them when running for office).
  2. Plea deals clear the jail of those awaiting trial. In many cases, court backlogs can keep defendants behind bars for months if they are unable to meet bail costs.
  3. Plea deals bring a quick end to cases and, at the same time, eliminate the need for a costly jury trial.

What Happens With a Plea Bargain?

Most defendants are offered deals a few weeks after an arrest or even right before the trial is set to begin. It varies with location, court backlog, the seriousness of the offense, and more. A plea bargain, if you agree to it, means coming before the judge for a quick hearing and pleading guilty. The charges may be lessened, dropped, or changed in some manner to sweeten the deal and make it more alluring for the defendant. However, they are not always advantageous for the defendant.

Get Help Before You Agree to a Plea Bargain

It's nearly impossible for defendants to evaluate a plea bargain without legal help. Criminal defense lawyers, though, live and breathe plea bargains and understand the implications in a detailed manner. They can advise you on the potential punishments if you are found guilty in court, what to expect if you agree to the plea bargain, and they can also help make a plea bargain better for you. Local attorneys have in-depth knowledge of the major players in the justice system and can, consequently, provide you with knowledgeable advice and support no matter what you decide to do.

Speak to a criminal defense firm, such as William G Mason Attorneys, to learn more.