Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?
Due to the complexity of the criminal justice system and the length of criminal proceedings, the prosecution and the defendant typically seek the earliest possible resolution. Many prosecutors routinely use plea agreements to conclude criminal cases swiftly. Although plea agreements seem to benefit both parties, defendants should exercise caution before accepting one.
You must proceed cautiously if you face criminal charges and have a plea bargain offered by the prosecutor. You must be confident that the plea deal is the best outcome for your case, even though it could seem like the quickest method to conclude your case or avoid lengthy jail time.
The specifics of your case will typically determine whether you should accept a plea bargain. It might lead to the best outcome in some circumstances, but also have adverse effects. Therefore, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney before agreeing to a plea deal.
Relying on public criminal defense lawyers might not be the best option because they are frequently too busy to consider the cost and represent you in the best way possible. Public defenders typically manage more than 150 cases at once, making it challenging for them to give your case their full attention and provide you with excellent legal counsel.
Therefore, consider hiring a private defense attorney with the time and resources to evaluate your case and formulate a strong defense plan. At Blank Law, PC, we devote much time and energy to assisting criminal defendants in avoiding a conviction. Our law firm is prepared and ready to assist you in fighting the criminal accusations made against you.
Should I Accept a Plea Bargain?
Contrary to popular belief, plea deals, rather than jury trials, are how many successful trials finish. A plea bargain is a deal reached by the prosecutor and the defendant whereby the defendant admits guilt to all or a portion of the charges in return for a lighter punishment.
Sometimes, prosecutors demand more from defendants than just pleading guilty to the charges. They may also ask them to testify as state witnesses in the case against other defendants. You must be ready to fulfill all the conditions of a plea bargain before accepting it.
Before accepting a plea bargain, you should consider the prosecutor’s motivations and what accepting it entails. You may need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney before deciding. Your lawyer will provide legal guidance and help you consider your options.
Attorney Nicole Blank Becker is a Michigan criminal defense lawyer with years of experience representing those facing criminal charges. She is ready to assist you if you or your loved one have been arrested for a crime or have a plea agreement offered by prosecutors. You set yourself up for the best outcome of your case by initiating an attorney-client relationship with us.
Having worked as a former prosecutor and possessing sufficient criminal defense experience, female criminal defense attorney Nicole Blank Becker has a unique advantage over other defense lawyers. She is very discreet and protects confidential or sensitive information shared with her. She can help you keep a conviction off your criminal record by building an aggressive defense against the charges brought against you. Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation today.
What You Should Know About Plea Bargains
Accepting a plea deal may only sometimes be the best outcome for you. Pleading guilty may prove more detrimental to your case than you anticipated. Therefore, you ought to seek the advice of a seasoned criminal defense attorney before accepting a plea deal.
Public defenders may offer their services for less money or even free of charge. Still, they might not give sound legal advice. So ensure you carefully choose a private defense attorney who you know will advocate for your best interest and offer wise guidance on a plea bargain. Learn what to look for in a criminal defense lawyer here.
Here is what you should know before you accept a plea bargain or plead guilty in a case:
Prosecutors Want to Secure a Conviction and Offering You a Plea Bargain May Be an Easy Way of Getting it Done
In a criminal case, the prosecutor’s objective is to obtain a conviction. However, to convict a defendant under the law, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. They prove their case by calling witnesses and experts, presenting evidence, and investigating the defendant.
It takes time to gather sufficient evidence of the defendant’s guilt. Thus, prosecutors frequently look for the shortest method to wrap up a case. As a result, they might provide a defendant with a plea bargain, requiring the defendant to plead guilty in return for a lighter sentence. On the surface, it is beneficial to both parties. The case concludes much faster, the defendant has a lighter sentence, and the prosecution has secured a criminal conviction.
The prosecution’s primary goal is to obtain a conviction. They want to end the case and, in some situations, extract valuable information from the defendant against other defendants in the case. Therefore, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney who can offer legal advice in your particular case before you plead guilty or accept a plea deal.
Additionally, criminal law allows prosecutors to offer plea bargains to defendants, but the criminal justice system of some jurisdictions may leave the sentencing decision to the judge. For instance, in federal cases, the judges are not bound by the prosecutor’s recommendation. The sentencing judge decides the defendant’s punishment in such cases, regardless of what the plea agreement states or of the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines.
Therefore, before pleading guilty, you should be sure of the sentence attached to the plea bargain. If the sentencing decision lies with the judge, a plea deal may not be your best outcome.
Plea Bargains are Always in the State’s Best Interest, Not Yours
You may think a prosecuting lawyer is being “nice” when they offer you a plea deal. Prosecutors may attempt to persuade you that it is in your best interest to accept a plea deal on their conditions to avoid being accused of a more serious crime and more severe punishment.
However, a prosecutor may make a plea deal if the evidence against you is weak and they fear losing at trial. They may also do so to expedite the legal process and lighten the court’s load.
Prosecutors are not your allies or legal advocates. In many cases, the prosecutor believes you are guilty. They are not obligated to take actions that will benefit you or provide legal counsel in your best interest. The state employs prosecutors as its legal representatives who strive diligently to secure a conviction. They are compelled to act in a way they believe is best for the state, not for you.
With that said, in some cases, a plea deal may be the best outcome for you, particularly if you do not have sufficient evidence to show that you are innocent. Pleading guilty is also the best result if you committed the offense, as you could get a reduced punishment instead of going to trial. So, you should consult a criminal lawyer to determine if it is in your best interest before you accept a plea bargain. This is the perfect example as to why hiring a criminal defense attorney is the best decision.
Accepting a Plea Bargain Removes Your Right to an Appeal
A plea deal may be in your best interest; but if you agree to it, you forfeit your legal right to a trial. You may even lose your opportunity to appeal your sentence if you are sentenced unfairly. If you enter a guilty plea, the district attorney will typically propose a lesser sentence; nevertheless, they cannot control or guarantee sentence terms. Ultimately, the sentencing judge can disregard the prosecutor’s recommendations and determine the penalties and jail sentence you will receive.
Speak With an Experienced Defense Attorney Before Accepting a Plea Bargain
Police officers and prosecutors do not work the same way as criminal defense attorneys. A seasoned defense lawyer will recommend pleading guilty and accepting a plea bargain only if it is in your best interest. Additionally, they might be able to minimize the accusations against you by striking a deal to spare you from more severe charges and punishment if the prosecutor has not offered a plea deal.
Hire Blank Law, PC to Beat the Criminal Charges Brought Against You
If you have been accused of or charged with a crime, you need a lawyer with the time and resources to create an aggressive legal defense. Blank Law, PC is a top criminal defense law firm in Michigan specializing in criminal law, unlike other law firms that stretch themselves thin by practicing all areas of law.
Our legal team has sufficient defense and trial law experience and can offer you proactive and outstanding legal advocacy. Our criminal defense team will do everything possible to ensure you keep a conviction off your criminal record and avoid jail time. We provide solid criminal defense for those involved in criminal cases all around Michigan. Contact us today for a Michigan criminal defense attorney free consultation.