During the criminal trial process, the prosecutor may offer the defendant a plea deal. That is, they may agree to drop charges, file lesser charges, or recommend an alternative sentence if the defendant consents to plead guilty or no contest. Because the outcomes of a trial are unknown, and a plea bargain is relatively clear, a defendant might be tempted to accept the offer. However, whether or not to take it depends on several factors.
Discussing the Matter with an Attorney
A plea bargain is part of a negotiation between the defendant, their attorney, and the prosecutor. Generally, the prosecutor is looking to obtain a “win” by offering a deal they hope the defendant will accept. Because of that, they may not be working in the defendant’s best interest. That is why it is crucial to speak with a lawyer about the deal and determine its advantages and disadvantages.
Defense attorneys know how to analyze the evidence presented in a case and identify strengths and weaknesses. If there are holes in the prosecutor’s arguments, it might be possible to obtain a more favorable outcome at trial.
Negotiating From the First Offer
As mentioned before, this process is a negotiation, which usually starts with the prosecutor offering a “deal” that would benefit them. It might even be what would have resulted had your case been taken to trial. Often, this first offer isn’t absolute.
Recognizing the holes in the prosecutor’s case, your defense attorney will counter with something that aligns closer to your best interests. This back and forth might continue until a bargain is reached that pleases both sides. Because you could potentially be offered a deal that is closer to your goals, you might not want to accept the prosecutor’s first offer.
Contact the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Stover for a Free Consultation
Being charged with a crime can be a stressful and frightening experience, as the process may be unfamiliar and the outcome unknown. To relieve the tension, you might want to immediately accept a plea bargain. However, it is best to discuss the matter with an experienced attorney before making a decision. Our lawyer has worked on various cases from assault to violent crimes and knows how to effectively handle these matters. We will thoroughly analyze your circumstances and review the evidence the prosecutor has against you. Additionally, we will advise you of the potential outcomes of your case and whether the offer is in your best interests.
To schedule a free consultation, call us at (775) 502-1575 or contact us online.