Are you facing criminal charges? Getting arrested is a terrifying and stressful ordeal for anyone, given how badly a conviction can affect the rest of your life. Depending on what you’re accused of, however, there might not be a need to worry too much.
Plea bargains are agreements between a defendant and the prosecution. It is a peaceful way to resolve a case, and account for over 90% of criminal convictions. It is actually quite rare for a case to go all the way to trial, since accepting a good offer is usually the best outcome.
The negotiation covers both the charges filed against you and what the sentence will be. For instance, the prosecution can drop charges for murder to manslaughter. Instead of a long sentence, they can reduce it or even keep you out of jail completely.
Deciding Whether or Not to Accept
But is accepting it actually the best course of action? This of course depends on the specifics of your case, and you should always talk with a criminal defense lawyer in Houston or whichever city you live in. The final decision always lies with the defendant. If you are confident that you can win your case, then there is no reason to plead guilty.
Remember that trials can be costly and time-consuming, however. Things can drag on for months or years. You may win the case, but still end up losing a lot, making this a risky proposition.
In addition, accepting a plea bargain can sometimes keep your record clean. You may be ordered to do community service, be put on probation, or forced to attend substance abuse seminars. While unpleasant, these outcomes will at least not hurt your chances of employment in the future.
No matter how you choose to move forward, make sure that you discuss things with your legal counsel in great detail first. The last thing you want is to make an error with something so important.