Things to understand when you accept a plea bargain

On Behalf of | May 15, 2023 | Criminal Defense

With the demands on the justice system, plea bargains are valuable for reducing trial caseloads and settling pending charges. Sometimes, plea bargains result in lesser charges and no jail time for defendants while other plea deals eliminate some charges in exchange for a guilty plea on others. When the prosecutor approaches you with an offer, you might feel as though it is reasonable and fair.

Consider a few facts as you prepare to sign the agreement.

You cannot appeal a plea bargain

Once you accept the deal and enter your plea, you lose any rights to an appeal in the case. The only way to have it reconsidered is if there was blatant misconduct leading to the plea offer, which is rare and difficult to prove.

The judge might refuse the deal

The plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the accused. The judge has no role in its development. He or she does have the final say. If the judge feels that the deal is unfair or in bad faith, you might go to trial anyway.

You might have an unfair sentence

Sometimes, the sentence offered as part of a plea deal ends up being longer than the one you might receive if the case goes to trial. Be mindful of any sentencing offer to avoid this pitfall.

Recognizing the facts about plea bargains can empower you to negotiate a more effective deal. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the deal you sign and that you thoroughly understand its terms before signing.

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Charles Waechter | Premium
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