What Are The Pros And Cons To Using A Plea Bargain On My Case?
In any criminal justice system, plea bargaining is a common practice used to complete cases. Florida is no exception. In Florida, a plea bargain is used to resolve a criminal court case without the need for a trial. The process allows the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge in order to avoid severe or maximum sentences that could be handed down should a case go to trial.
A plea bargain is a negotiation process that occurs between the defendant, the defendant’s hired legal representation and the prosecuting attorneys. For a case to be resolved, the defendant must agree to a plea bargain in writing. The negotiated outcome is later approved by a judge.
The Advantage Of Using A Plea Bargain
The biggest benefit when compromising on the outcome of a criminal case is the ability to speed up the criminal justice process. When you can avoid a trial, a case can get resolved quickly and both prosecution and defense attorneys can move on to other cases. This strategy can help reduce the case load in the court system and cut down on the resources needed to argue a case.
Another great thing about a plea bargain is that it gives the defendant control over the outcome of the case against them. Unfortunately, if a case goes to trial, the outcome is left to chance and the punishment can be much more severe. That said, coming to a compromise on a case, your criminal defense attorney can negotiate a favorable outcome to a case.
Is There A Good Reason To Negotiate A Criminal Case?
There are actually several reasons to accept a plea bargain.
You Avoid A Long And Expensive Trial
When your lawyer has to litigate your case, the preparation process can take a very long time. As a result, going to trial can be very expensive. Additionally, there are heavy court costs. By compromising a case, a defendant can side step lawyer and court expenses.
When You Need Certainty On The Outcome Of A Case
When a defendant accepts a plea bargain, they are pleading guilty. However, they are pleading guilty with a full understanding of what the consequences are.
When You Want To Avoid A More Severe Sentence
When a case goes to trial, a defendant is likely going to face a severe punishment. With a plea bargain, one can avoid getting the maximum sentence.
To Get Reduced Charges
In addition to avoiding a severe sentence, having your lawyer negotiate a case can often result in a lesser charge.
In Order To Save Resources
Going to trial is emotionally and financially draining. Accepting a plea bargain, allows a defendant to save money and avoid the stress associated with going to trial.
Is There A Downside To Using A Plea Bargain?
On the surface, it can seem like using negotiating tactics can be a really good thing. However, there are some negative effects of using a plea bargain. For example, compromising on your case doesn’t allow the defendant to present evidence in order to argue a case. Additionally, by pleading guilty to a lighter charge, a person may still face punishment including a criminal record and jail time.
Call The Law Office Of William B. Bennett To Discuss Options For Your Case, Including The Possibility Of Negotiating A Compromise
Depending on the case, a plea bargain is not always the best solution to resolve the outcome. It is very important to consult with a criminal defense lawyer before deciding whether to go to trial or use a plea bargain.
The Law Office Of William B. Bennett in St. Petersburg, Florida has over 30 years experience successfully handling criminal cases. For a free consultation, call our office at (727) 821-8000 or contact us on our website here.
Posted in: Criminal Defense Law