When charged with a criminal offense in Texas, there is a possibility that your defense lawyer might enter into plea bargaining negotiations with the prosecution, which can be beneficial at times but not always.
Before accepting a plea deal, it is essential to discuss it thoroughly with your defense attorney in order to understand the pros and the cons of such an arrangement.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to help you decide if plea bargaining is the right choice to make or if would be better going to trial instead.
What Is Plea Bargaining?
Plea bargaining usually leads to accepting a plea agreement and happens when your defense lawyer makes an arrangement with the prosecutor in exchange for a lesser charge or sentence.
It typically involves a defendant and his or her attorney agreeing ahead of time to submit either a guilty or no-contest plea in exchange for lesser charges, lower penalties, or fact bargaining.
What Are Some Benefits to Plea Bargaining?
When working with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is representing your best interest, there may be some important benefits to be gained by agreeing to a plea bargain.
Plea bargaining lets a defense lawyer ;have a little more control over the outcome of the case since it can be negotiated to an extent and many times results in lesser charges and punishment.
More importantly, it can avoid actual conviction, which is much more serious for you and looks worse on a criminal record.
By accepting a plea bargain, the trial is skipped altogether with an admission of guilt or no contest which speeds up the process and gives you an important bargaining chip.
What Problems Might Arise With A Plea Bargain?
Criminal defense lawyers are quick to point out that plea bargains must be carefully vetted as they won’t always be as beneficial as they may initially seem.
Plea deals are not as transparent as actual trials, a factor that could hide important evidence from the defense.
These deals frequently involve pretrial detention and even mandatory minimum sentences that might not be made in a trial situation.
Nothing is guaranteed and a plea bargain agreement could end up as an unfair deal that may have potentially turned out better if the case had gone to trial.
Decide Carefully On Plea Bargaining
Plea bargaining can help a Texas criminal case if you and your defense lawyer have carefully discussed the pros and cons; however, it might not always.
Every case is different, with different risks and possibilities whether going to trial with your lawyer or deciding against it by accepting a plea agreement.
In the end, it is essential to work with a criminal defense attorney experienced with plea bargaining, a lawyer who can explain the pros and cons of accepting a plea agreement to help make the best choice possible in your case.
There may be a lot more at stake than simply receiving a lesser punishment!