Steven J. Moore
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Accepting a plea bargain

Some criminal cases are resolved way before proceedings even begin. You might be asked to plead guilty in exchange for a good deal and a lenient sentence; this is called a plea bargain. The defendant has the right to refuse the plea agreement and go to trial. Plea agreements allow cases to be resolved sooner and with ease. Prosecutors often prefer to resolve cases in this way, asking you to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence.

Often defendants choose to accept a plea bargain because going to court puts them at risk of facing a severe sentence. Plea bargains allow the defendant to negotiate the terms of their sentencing. Some defendants might feel that this is better than going through the stress of a trial. Though it might protect you from serious punishment, a plea bargain takes away your right to prove yourself innocent in court. Signing the agreement means that you have officially admitted to the charges you are facing.

It may be difficult to decide whether to take a plea bargain or not. The entire case needs to be analyzed before making a decision. Your attorney will help you understand whether taking a plea bargain is a good idea. The charges against you and the evidence already available to the prosecution play an important role in the defendant’s decisions. It also establishes how the negotiations take place. If the prosecution has ample evidence against you, they can bring forward a deal that suits them better.

Accepting a plea bargain can be a complicated decision. It is advisable to discuss your situation with a defense attorney. The attorney will review the evidence against you and give you advice accordingly.