When to Enter a Plea Bargain

Criminal charges are a serious point of trouble for any person who gets accused of them. In most cases, those charged with any form of crime can work their way out of it by means of a strong defense. However, there are some cases where being acquitted is nearly or totally impossible to attain for the defendant. The prosecution may have a solid case, and the defendant may lack a credible alibi or reliable witnesses to refute the prosecution’s claims, sealing their conviction.

Not all criminal charges can lead to an acquittal, and a criminal defense lawyer Las Vegas knows it all too well. In such cases, veteran defense attorneys would advise their clients to enter a plea bargain in order to avoid the more serious penalties that come along with the crime they are charged with. Plea bargains, however, are not the be-all end-all solution to any hard-to-break criminal charge, and there are only certain instances when a plea bargain can be made to have a satisfactory result.

Talking it Over

It must be reiterated that entering a plea bargain is not a simple task. The repercussions it can have on the defendant are plentiful, especially if the defendant made the plea without much of a preparation to begin with. There are even a few people who consider plea bargains to have a more adverse effect on the defendant, citing unfair measures levied up by the prosecutors towards defendants faced with notably harsh charges.

The first and most important thing for defendants to keep in mind is to always communicate with their lawyer before making any drastic moves with regards to their case. Constant discussions with their attorney will ensure that all matters related to the case are taken into account before any decision can be made. Keep in mind that the defense attorney has more experience and knowledge when it comes to dealing with plea bargains, so it is always a good idea to consult first before committing.

What are the Terms?

As the name implies, plea bargains are meant to be discussed between both the defense and the prosecution in order to come to an earlier resolution of the case without having to go through the entire period of the trial. Primarily, it is meant to free up time for both prosecutors and defense counsels to focus on other cases that they have on hand. This, however, can sometimes lead to the bargain becoming more of a bargain of convenience rather than a bargain to reduce the defendant’s penalties, leaving the defendant high and dry because the terms are not really acceptable to them.

The terms discussed in a plea bargain are the most important part of the bargain per se. As such, the defendant must always be informed of the terms that are being negotiated in order for the plea bargain to push ahead. Defendants must always seek to have the best possible terms available to them in the plea bargain; otherwise, the negotiations will have been for naught, or they will get the shorter end of the negotiating stick.

Best Interest First

Defense proceedings are stressful and taxing on both parties. The lawyers of both parties are worried about the number of other cases that they have to handle; meanwhile the plaintiff and the defendant are both strained emotionally and mentally, on top of having to worry about the growing financial costs the case is costing both of them. As such, both parties would often jump at the chance to deal with the case immediately without going through the whole legal proceedings, even if it means agreeing to unsatisfactory terms.

Keep in mind that the other aim of a plea bargain, at least for the defense side, is to provide the defendant with the best possible outcome for a case that will not involve the maximum penalty provided by law for the defendant’s charge. In this regard, however, the defendant must always take his or her best interest as one of the guiding forces behind the attempt to enter a plea bargain. Compromise where it is needed, but always aim for the best outcome that suits the defense’s needs.

Plea bargains must never be taken lightly. They are an important step to ensuring that the defendant will not suffer the full extent of the punishment related to his or her charged crime if there are no other alternatives available. Always discuss this move with the defense lawyer in order to get the most out of the plea bargain opportunity.