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Should You Accept a Plea Bargain?

Should You Accept a Plea Bargain?

Are Plea Bargains Worth It?

It’s believed that about 69% of all criminal cases in the United States are resolved with a plea bargain.

It may sound strange, but negotiation is often a significant aspect of criminal defense law. Because trials take time and can quickly overload the court system, prosecutors are willing to negotiate to prevent the burden of excess caseloads, but also to obtain a speedy conviction.

No one can predict the outcome of a criminal trial. It can easily end with a win for the prosecution OR the defendant. When you accept a plea bargain, you admit that you are guilty of one or more of the charges against you.

Why would you ever want to do that?

Consider another statistic: in more than 71% of criminal cases in the U.S., the defendant is found guilty of one or more of the charges against them. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney may increase your chances of an acquittal, but the experience of such legal representation may also help to negotiate one of the two types of plea bargains: sentences and charges.

  • As you might expect, a sentence plea bargain involves the defendant pleading guilty to the charges for a lenient sentence. This type of negotiation works to the defendant’s advantage because they are usually able to prevent themselves from receiving the maximum punishment for a crime.
  • Charge bargaining involves negotiating a guilty plea in exchange for a lesser charge. For example, if the defendant is accused of murder, they may accept a plea bargain for a manslaughter charge instead of taking their chances at trial and possibly receiving a more harsh punishment for second-degree murder.

Prosecutors are not required to offer plea bargains, but your attorney may be able to facilitate one if you so choose. To discuss your case with an attorney today, day or night, call 1-800-ATTORNEY.

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