The vast majority of criminal matters are handled using plea bargains. Some people worry that this means defendants aren’t getting their due time in court; however, there are some advantages to this arrangement for both sides of the matter. Less than 10% of defendants take their case through the criminal trial process.
For the individuals who are considering a plea deal, the most important thing to remember is that you must admit that you did commit the crime as part of the deal. This means that anyone who is truly innocent shouldn’t ever accept a plea deal.
One of the conditions of plea deals is that you can’t appeal them. This means that once you accept the deal and it is approved by the court, you will live with the sentence that is agreed upon.
The court and prosecutors have advantages for accepting plea deals. This takes away the need to prepare for trial and have the trial, which frees up time to handle other cases. It also means that other cases can move through the system in a more efficient manner.
For defendants, the primary advantage is that they will know ahead of time what penalties the prosecution is seeking. This gives them some measure of control over the outcome of the case; however, they must remember that the court might choose to hand down a different sentence than the recommendation.
A plea deal is only one of the options that you have for your defense. It is imperative that you carefully consider each of these to develop the strategy you use to combat the charges.