When you face criminal charges, you might have an opportunity to consider a plea bargain. The decision to accept or reject that plea offer could significantly impact the outcome of your case and your future.
Before you make any decisions, there are several things that you should think about.
Does the prosecution have a strong case?
Before you make any plea bargain decisions, consider the evidence against you. If the prosecution’s case is weak, you might have a good chance to beat the charges at trial. However, if your chances of winning are slim, a plea deal could help you reduce your time in jail and save the exposure in court.
What are the consequences of a conviction?
As you weigh your plea bargain, consider what you might face after a conviction. That means considering the severity of the charges, the possible fines and the maximum length of incarceration. Compare this to the plea bargain as you make your decision.
Are you prepared to have a criminal record?
One of the most significant consequences of signing a plea deal is the guaranteed criminal conviction on your record. That criminal conviction could make it difficult for you to get work or an apartment later, so prepare for the consequences before you make your decision.
According to the Pew Research Center, an average of 90% of federal criminal cases end with guilty pleas. With so many cases ending with a plea bargain, defendants should understand the significance of choosing to accept a plea. You should assess your case on its own merits as you make the decision that is best suited for you.