If I Am Offered a Plea Bargain, Should I Take It?
Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been formally charged with a crime, the prosecution may offer a “plea bargain” in an effort to secure a conviction while avoiding a formal trial. Typically, accepting a deal involves pleading guilty to lesser charges in order to avoid the possibility of harsher penalties. A plea bargain can be an effective tool in mitigating potential punishments in a criminal defense case, however, it is not always the correct decision and requires careful consideration. If you are facing criminal charges, it is vital to consult with the Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorney Samuel Terry.
Below are several factors to consider when facing a plea bargain:
- Is the deal in your best interest? When considering a plea bargain, one of the main factors to consider is how likely the prosecution is to secure a conviction for the charges against you. In many cases, the prosecution may offer a deal when they are less than sure about their chances in court. Remember, the prosecution is not on your side and they are not your friend. They are government employees whose sole job is to secure convictions. An initial deal often functions to close your case and remove it from the prosecutor’s desk as quickly as possible. It is likely that an initial deal will not be in your best interest. A knowledgeable attorney can help you to decide if your case merits going to court or if a better deal can be negotiated.
- Do you understand the consequences? Accepting a plea deal involves pleading guilty to a lesser charge. While the prospect of a reduced sentence may be appealing, a conviction for any crime can have far reaching consequences beyond jail time and fines. A mark on your criminal record can affect the places you are allowed to live as well as the range of jobs you may hold. For example, a felony conviction will automatically disqualify an individual from holding many jobs. Alcohol related offenses may prevent you from working in professions requiring the operation of a motor vehicle. It is vital to consider the full ramifications of a plea bargain with an attorney before taking action.
- If I reject a plea bargain, will I face a harsher sentence? Generally, when a plea deal is offered, the prosecution and defense will have an understanding of the case and the evidence involved. If a deal is rejected, the defendant will face the uncertainty of a criminal trial as well as the possible punishments associated with the charges against them. Unless new evidence comes to light which allows the prosecution to recommend a harsher penalty, a defendant will typically face the charges outlined at the time of the plea deal.
- Have you consulted with an attorney? Maximizing your chances of a favorable outcome begins with contacting a skilled criminal defense lawyer. While the majority of people will have little experience with judging and negotiating plea bargains, an attorney will know how to judge the strength of the prosecution, the fairness of a deal, and can be vital in the negotiation process. A prosecutor will be forced to change their demeanor and strategy when an experienced criminal defense attorney becomes involved.
Award-Winning Criminal Defense
When your future is on the line and you need unbiased legal advocacy, do not waste any time in contacting the Fort Worth Criminal Defense Lawyer Samuel Terry. He will work with you personally to see that you understand exactly what is happening in your case and what your legal options are. Attorney Samuel Terry has been honored by legal organizations such as SuperLawyers® and has a proven track record of securing not guilty verdicts and dismissed cases.
Call (817) 756-1817 and schedule a FREE case evaluation to speak with an attorney today.