People who are facing criminal charges may not want to have to go through the trial process. One option to avoid a criminal trial is to work out a plea deal with the prosecution. This helps to reduce the strain on the criminal justice system because it can free up space on the court docket.
You must remember several things if you’re considering a plea deal. These points may help you to make your decision about how to proceed with the negotiations for the agreement.
#1: You must be guilty
Only people who admit they did the crime should try to work out a plea deal. Part of the plea deal process means that you have to plead guilty or no contest to the agreed upon charges.
#2: Terms can vary greatly
The terms of the plea deal can vary greatly depending on what’s worked out with the prosecutor. This can involve the sentence you’ll face, the charges you’ll plead guilty to or the evidence that will be presented in a case.
#3: Many prosecutors will only work with other attorneys
It’s difficult to impossible to work out a plea deal if you’re representing yourself in court. Prosecutors tend to only work out these deals with defense attorneys.
#4: The court must accept the deal
The plea deal will be presented to the court. The court must agree to the terms or it can be rejected. If it’s rejected, you can try to work out a plea deal with the prosecutor or you can head to a trial. Your willingness to enter into a plea deal can’t be used against you if you go to a trial.
#5: You can’t appeal the plea deal
There’s usually a clause in the plea deal that forbid you from appealing the plea. This means that you must be sure you’re completely comfortable with the terms before you agree to the deal.
Anyone who’s facing criminal charges should ensure they explore all the options they have for their defense strategy. Working with someone who’s familiar with cases similar to yours is beneficial. Ideally, you’ll start going through your options quickly after you learn about your charges.