Plea bargains offer defendants a chance to accept a lesser sentence have their charges dropped, in exchange for another deal with the prosecution. Prosecutors are usually the first to offer to a plea bargain, with the options to have the defendant enter a guilty plea for a less severe charge, enter a plea of no contest, or ask the judge to recommend another sentence to the judge.
When Are Plea Bargains Offered?
Most of the time, the defendant accept a plea bargain at any time—from the moment of arrest to the middle of the trial, if there the case reaches trial. If you are the defendant, you do not have to make this decision on your own; your Virginia Beach criminal defense attorney can help weigh the options for you.
These are some of the advantages of choosing a plea bargain:
- Your criminal record remains shows a much lesser offense
- Your sentence is less harsh than if you were to take the case all the way through to trial
- The case can be resolved much more quickly
- You do not need to bring the case to trial, which can preserve your good name and reputation
If the defendant chooses not to accept the plea bargain, then he or she cannot ask for that same deal again if the sentencing renders a more severe penalty. So, there is an inherent risk of opting out or not, depending on how the trial plays out and the various other circumstances involved. Your attorney has the responsibility of informing you about your legal rights and what may happen if you choose to waive your rights.
Hire an Attorney Today!
Understandably, you might have some worries about whether or not the prosecution will back out on the plea bargain. How can you be sure? You have the right to ask for reprieve and even obtain court orders to make sure that prosecutors are complying with the plea bargain. Our lawyer can help build a compelling defense in your favor and advise you on whether or not a plea bargain is wise for your situation.