Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?

If you’re facing criminal charges, you may consider accepting a plea bargain offered by the prosecution, as it can result in lesser charges and a reduced sentence. Understandably, a case can drag on for several months in the criminal justice system, as you can face several delays, which can derail your life even further. In addition, it can often save you from the stress and expenses associated with a lengthy trial. As there are no guarantees during a criminal trial, as the fate of your future lies in the hands of the jury, you may feel your best bet to receive the best possible outcome for your situation is to accept a plea bargain. However, before you do so, you must consult with an experienced Bergen County Criminal Defense Attorney who can help you determine whether this is the best court of action given your particular circumstances. 

What is a plea bargain?

A plea bargain is an agreement between a criminal defendant and a prosecutor. In exchange for pleading guilty or no contest, the protection can reduce or drop certain charges or offer lesser penalties, which would be possible if the criminal defendant was convicted. It’s vital to understand that depending on the severity of your criminal offense, you may have to undergo a trial, as not all cases are eligible for plea bargains.

The prosecution often utilizes plea bargains to ensure criminal defendants face the consequences of their actions while avoiding the hassle and expense of a trial. By accepting a plea bargain, a criminal defendant admits guilt, but they can prevent some of the consequences they would have faced if they had gone to trial, which resulted in a conviction. However, every case is different, meaning that some criminal defendants may be better off going to trial. That said, it’s crucial to consult a qualified attorney before accepting any plea bargain to weigh your options.

Should you agree to a plea deal or go to trial?

Understandably, it’s normal to feel like your chances of winning a criminal trial are low; it’s always crucial to speak with an adept attorney before deciding to accept a plea bargain. They can help determine whether accepting a plea bargain is in your best interest. Below are some examples of situations where accepting a plea bargain may be the right choice:

  • Your attorney advises that it is in your best interest.
  • You know you’re guilty of the alleged crime.
  • The prosecution’s evidence against you is overwhelming.
  • You can avoid a lengthy prison sentence.

Despite the apparent benefits of a plea bargain, there are situations where it may be more beneficial to reject it and proceed to trial. Here are some reasons why it would be better to turn down a plea deal:

  • You know that you’re innocent.
  • The plea bargain does not significantly reduce the charges or penalties you’re facing.
  • The evidence supporting the prosecution’s case is weak.
  • There is substantial evidence that can prove that you are not guilty of the alleged crime.

As you can see, when deciding whether to accept a plea bargain or proceed to trial, several critical factors should be weighed. If you’re facing criminal charges, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined attorney from The Law Office of Carl Spector, who can help you determine whether accepting a plea bargain is in your best interest.