Should You Take A Plea Deal?
When an individual is charged with a crime, there is often a chance that the prosecutor may offer the accused a plea deal. A plea deal is essentially an agreement between the prosecutor and the defense for the defendant to accept a certain predetermined sentence rather than go to trial. Once the plea deal is agreed upon, the deal will be submitted to the court, which will make the determination as to whether to accept or deny the agreement. If the court accepts the agreement this will mark the end of the criminal proceedings, however, if the plea deal is rejected, the defendant will typically be able to withdraw the plea and choose to go to trial or plea without an agreement.
What’s The Advantage?
The primary advantage associated with a plea deal in state court is the certainty the defendant is afforded. In the vast majority of situations, the sentence agreed to in the plea deal is less than the maximum punishment for the crime under the law. When negotiating a plea deal the defense has the opportunity to investigate the alleged crime and find any evidence that may be beneficial to their client. In the event that they do find substantial evidence that may suggest the prosecution may struggle at trial, a plea deal may occur, where the charges are altogether altered to a less significant charge carrying a lighter penalty.
Will I Be Offered A Plea Deal?
It is important to recognize that the prosecution is under no obligation to offer you a plea deal. In certain instances, the prosecutor may want to go to trial and will not offer the defendant a plea agreement. In this case, the accused has no choice but to plea without a deal or go to trial. It should also be noted that even if a plea deal is offered, it may not be in the defendant’s best interest to accept the offer.
How Do I Know If I Should Take the Deal?
Your attorney will discuss your case and be upfront with you about your chances of success at trial. In the event that they believe you have a high chance of winning at trial, it may be wise to decline the deal and move to trial. Although, it is important to recognize that there is always a risk of conviction at a trial in front of a jury no matter how solid you believe your case to be. This level of uncertainty is what drives many individuals to accept a plea deal. Ultimately, it is up to the client and the client alone as to whether or not they will choose to accept a plea deal. A good attorney will inform you of all of your options and portray a clear picture of the potential ramifications of your decision, but they will step aside at the end and allow you to make an unimpeded decision.
Reach Out to Us for Help Today
If you are facing a criminal charge of any nature, it is critical that you take the situation very seriously. Even a minor conviction can have disastrous ramifications on your future. In order to ensure you are being treated fairly and your rights are being protected, you should seek the representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you are in this situation, contact the Law Offices of Gilbert A. Schaffnit in Gainesville. You will receive aggressive defense from an attorney who will stand up for your rights and ensure that your best interests are accounted for. Do not let your freedom go to chance; call or stop by today. We have represented clients throughout the state of Florida and many other states for over forty (40) years.