How To Get A Better Plea Bargain
When faced with the prospect of a long jail term, a plea bargain may be an option to reduce possible jail time, but you need to make sure you are getting the best possible outcome. Here are some questions to ask yourself in that situation. Read on to learn more!
Have I Talked To My Attorney?
This is the first step. An attorney has experience in plea bargaining and can ensure you get a good offer. You may feel you (or your friends or family) have sufficient legal knowledge. That said, an attorney will look at the evidence and decide if there are aspects of the charges that may be disputable. The lawyer may be able to tell if the prosecuting lawyer does not have a strong case and may be positioned to exploit that to your advantage. An attorney will fight for your rights in the face of adversity. The extra paperwork this creates for the prosecuting attorney may also make them more amenable to strike a favorable plea deal.
Is The Plea Offer Really Any Sort Of Bargain?
Remember that prosecutors have many cases and want to resolve them as soon as possible. They will want the plea deal negotiation to be as simple as possible – often to avoid the need of the trial. So, the prosecution may pitch a plea deal that is somewhat favorable to you to avoid a trial. However, your attorney will be able to see the strength of their case and going back and forth may be able to get you an even more favorable outcome.
Is This Offer Really In My Best Interest?
The prosecuting attorney may try to play the nice guy and make his plea deal seem attractive. But ask yourself, “Why?” He is not your friend or advocate and the case he has against you may be weak. That is why your attorney should be involved in the negotiations of a plea deal and can ensure the final arrangement is in your best interest. You may also be able to obtain an adjudication whereby you are not actually convicted but still must serve some form of probation or a lighter sentence than you otherwise would have.
When you accept a plea bargain you lose the right to appeal many of the facts and issues involved in your case – if you happen to be sentenced in a manner that is unfair, there may be no legal recourse. Judges normally accept the recommendation of a prosecutor. A plea deal means the jury may not have the opportunity to hear your side or hear evidence that may favor you. Prosecuting lawyers do not like to go to trial unless they must, so as the court date nears, the plea deal arrangements may become more generous.
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*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.