Plea bargains are very rare globally, but very common here in the U.S. In fact, around 90 percent of all criminal cases are settled by plea bargaining. It offers some benefits to both sides, both the prosecution and the defense. However, some people argue that the scale of justice is what really suffers.
This blog provides a brief overview of some of the most common advantages of plea bargains as a defendant, so you can better understand how a plea bargain might or might not help you.
You are choosing certainty over risk
Being a defendant awaiting a trial or sentencing can be a very stressful place to be in. Being offered a plea bargain gives you the opportunity to take a certain outcome and be relieved of your anxieties. The outcome of a trial is always uncertain, and if you are convicted, you could face a more severe sentence than your plea bargain offered.
You might be able to avoid jail time
Some plea bargains allow defendants to plead to offenses that carry little or no jail time. Depending on your circumstances, this might be the most important factor. It is always something to seriously consider.
You can avoid stigmatizing sentences
Plea bargains often recognize the fact that certain offenses carry a certain stigma that can follow a defendant for the rest of his or her life. Some plea bargains allow defendants to accept responsibility for different or lesser charges that do not carry the same type of social burden.
By avoiding a big, drawn out case, defendants will be able to avoid public attention associated with a trial by agreeing to a plea bargain.
An attorney can provide more information on plea bargains, but if one is offered, or can be negotiated, it is ultimately up to you to decide if you want to accept it. If you are in need of legal advice regarding criminal charges you may be facing, please contact the Quinn Law Firm for a free consultation.
Source: FindLaw, “Defense plea bargain,” accessed Sep. 01, 2017