Most people associate criminal cases with the courtroom. The truth is, close to 90 percent of all criminal cases never go to trial. So how are they settled? It all comes down to plea deals. They are constantly being thrown around, but it is important to know when to accept and when to explore your other options.
Are you asking yourself, “When should I accept a plea deal?” Well, the answer varies case by case, but here are some tips.
Understand Why Plea Deals Are Allowed
The first step to figuring out when to accept a plea deal is to understand why plea deals are allowed in the first place. In part, plea bargains are offered to help speed up the process in criminal cases. Both sides should feel as though they are getting something in their favor from the plea deal.
Money is another huge factor in why so many end up accepting a plea bargain. Legal fees, court costs, fines, and more can really start to add up in a hurry.
A plea deal might not seem that great for prosecutors, but they are able to see quick punishment. This will allow them to still be seen as successful in their job, even if they could have fought for a stiffer punishment.
Plea Deals Aren’t Offered Out of Kindness
With so many people using the term “plea bargain,” one might think that it is a good deal and the prosecution is trying to be nice. That is almost never the case, however. They are offering a plea deal for a reason. In most cases, they feel that they know exactly what they can get out of the arrangement, and they know you will agree. Make sure that you are comfortable with the plea deal before you accept—because the other side certainly is.
Plea deals can feel like a game at times. Perhaps the prosecution is showing what is essentially a poker face regarding the strength of the case they have against you. No one really knows for sure, which is why it is risky to go to trial if a decent plea deal is offered.
Sometimes It Helps to Move On
In some cases, a plea deal is a way of just moving on. This is particularly true if it looks as though jail or prison time is inevitable. Perhaps a lawyer has looked at the case from every angle and can’t find a way to avoid incarceration. Instead of prolonging the inevitable, a plea deal can get everything started.
Using firms like Chicago Trusted Attorneys can help with obtaining a fair plea deal, even if jail time is unavoidable. There are still specifics that can be hashed out with the plea deal, and jail time might be reduced in some way.
A plea deal might not be ideal, but there are certainly advantages to going this route. Just make sure to do your homework in preparation for a potential plea deal.