Plea bargaining is a defense used in many courts across the United States for a variety of reasons. Coming to an agreement with the court in exchange for certain considerations, such as a shorter sentence, is a common method used by an experienced defense attorney, often working in a defendant’s favor. Before agreeing to any kind of plea bargain, a defendant should understand the process – how it works and what it means to them.
What Is A Plea Bargain?
A plea bargain is an agreement between the court and a defendant in which the defendant receives some type of consideration. According to a defense lawyer, this is very common in the United States and normally means pleading guilty in exchange for reduced charges or a lighter sentence.
A defense attorney can make use of a plea bargain because in their opinion it will be beneficial to their clients. Of course, a lawyer may not agree with the plea bargain system. Their argument is there it is possible that a defendant may be cleared of the charges without entering a guilty plea or that it would be better to face a jury in a full trial rather than accept a plea bargain to get reduced charges.
Should You Plea Bargain?
Defendants can save both themselves and the court system time and money if it appears that a trial is likely to result in the same verdict. It is possible that a judge will look favorably on a defendant pleading guilt and being willing to accept a plea bargain. A defense attorney advises that a judge can either lessen the charges or reduce the punishment in exchange for a plea bargain.
Whether or not a defendant accepts a plea bargain is something that defendants and their defense lawyer must discuss in detail. An attorney may suggest a plea bargain if it will benefit their client in important ways such as reducing the penalty or avoiding other charges completely if that was part of the plea bargain agreement.
Accepting A Plea Bargain – Defendant’s Point of View
Plea bargains save all involved parties time, money, and the stress of a long hearing. They can be a wise choice for some people; however, a defense attorney may offer that it should be done only after careful consideration of all the potential consequences.
When a defendant accepts a plea bargain, they are accepting a certain degree of guilt. It means that they are waiving their right to a full trial with a jury and agreeing to specific punishment to be assigned. They are also agreeing to uphold their side of the bargain, whatever that may be. If they should not, a defense lawyer points out that a defendant can find themselves back in court to face the original charges.
Plea bargaining is something that a defense attorney may suggest to their clients depending on the situation. A defendant should discuss the possibility of a plea bargain and its benefit with their lawyer. It is important that they thoroughly understand the agreement and their role before agreeing to any type of plea bargain.
Reynaldo G. Garza, III
680 E. St Charles, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520