Plea deals are popular for one main reason — they save the court time. Plea deals also save defendants from going through protracted and publicized trials.
Whether you should accept a plea deal or not boils down to the circumstances of your case. One thing, however, is always true: you should never rush into accepting a plea deal for the sake of it. That said, here are important things you need to keep in mind when making this important legal decision:
The prosecution seeks a prosecution
When the prosecution offers a plea deal, you might be tempted to believe they’re being “nice” to you. They may try to persuade you that accepting the deal is in your best interest and that, if you do not, you risk facing a more serious charge with harsher penalties. However, you need to understand that the prosecution might sometimes offer a plea deal when they realize they do not have a strong case against you.
You give up your right to an appeal if you accept a plea deal
Sometimes, a plea deal might genuinely be good for you. However, it is important to understand that in accepting a plea bargain, you will be forfeiting your right to a fair trial. And that’s not all. You might also waive your right to appeal whatever sentence the court will pronounce against you. Keep in mind that whereas the prosecution will recommend a lighter sentence, it is ultimately up to the court to decide the sentencing you will receive. In other words, the judge might ignore the prosecution’s recommendations.
If you have been charged with a crime, you’ve got a couple of serious decisions to make. Understanding your legal options can help you make an informed decision and safeguard your rights while considering whether to accept a plea deal or not.