One of the simplest ways to avoid going to trial for a crime you are charged with is by accepting a plea agreement that the court offers you. In exchange for your guilty plea, the court may reduce your charge and consequence for the crime, and you will have a way to settle your case a lot faster. Admitting guilt, though, is not always the best option to choose in all situations, and it is important to fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of a plea bargain before you decide to accept it or reject it.
Advantages of accepting a plea deal
While courts do not always offer plea deals to people facing criminal charges, there is a good chance they may offer you one, as this is a fairly common practice with criminal law. When you receive the news about the plea deal, your lawyer will fully explain to you what it means and what the offer is. The lawyer will also explain the advantages of accepting it, and one of the key advantages is the potential to receive a reduced charge instead of facing the full charge. For example, instead of facing a felony charge, the court might offer to drop it to a misdemeanor if you accept guilt for it.
Secondly, you will likely receive a punishment that is far less severe than you could receive if the court finds you guilty on the original charge. Finally, you have the advantage of settling the case right now instead of allowing it to take months or years, as it can take years for a case to go to trial.
Disadvantages of accepting a plea deal
The main disadvantage you take on if you accept the deal is that you will not have the chance to try to prove that you are innocent with the charge in question. You will have to state that you are taking responsibility for committing the crime, which means you are stating that you are guilty. This is the main consequence you face, and this is the top reason some people reject plea deals. If you are not guilty, why should you state that you are?
Before you can decide which option is right for you, it is important to discuss your case with a lawyer. You can do this by contacting a firm in your city and requesting an appointment with a criminal law attorney.
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