Criminal case charges aren’t something you deal with every day. So, before you frantically accept the first plea offer made to you, ensure that you’re doing what’s in your best interest. Here’s what you should do in such situations.
Consult an Experienced Trial Attorney
Your first step is to turn to a defense attorney who has your best interests at heart. They’re aware of the legal process and have experience with a number of cases. Criminal defense attorneys know the ongoing prosecution trends and would be able to tell if the offer you’ve got at hand is a good one.
They’re capable of analyzing the evidence against you and find possible ways to challenge the charges against you. They might also be able to get the prosecutor to offer a better plea bargain to you. That’s because the prosecution might fear losing the case if the case against you isn’t strong or just wants to speed up the case and avoid additional work.
Consider If the Plea Offer Is Actually Any Sort of Bargain
Some Public defenders are much like prosecutors when it comes to clearing the workload off their desks. So, it might be a possibility that the prosecutors and public defenders negotiate the offers made to get the case through the system as quickly as possible, despite the fact that the case is strong enough to proceed to trial.
You should always ensure that you have an experienced, private criminal defense lawyer by your side, who’s not under any sort of pressure. You need someone who provides you with sound legal advice and is most concerned about your best interest and your future. This will help the two of you to figure out if you’ve really been offered any sort of bargain.
When it comes to negotiating pleas, the prosecutor would initially offer something only slightly better than their best day in court and what could be the worst-case scenario for you. This would be countered by stating the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case and offering something closer to your best day in court. After a few attempts at negotiations, you’ll be able to reach middle ground and end up with an actual bargain.
Consider If the Plea Bargain Is in Your Best Interest
When the prosecutor offers you a plea bargain, they attempt to persuade you that their offer is in your best interest and that you should immediately accept it on their terms. Otherwise, you’ll be charged with a more serious offense and would’ve to deal with grave consequences.
However, the prosecutor works for the state and does what is best for the state and not what is best for you. They have different reasons to offer a plea bargain, it might be because they fear losing the trial due to weak evidence against you, to reduce workload, or to meet the judge’s expectations.
Make sure you analyze the offer and consider if it really is in your best interest. The consequence to criminal convictions goes beyond the sentence you have to serve and might affect your future. There’s also the possibility that you can get adjudication withheld and would never be considered to have been convicted for the offense, despite you serving probation or sentence.
In conclusion, if you find yourself in this daunting situation, keep your mind calm and follow our advice. You have to approach the situation with logic, rather than letting your emotions take charge. Consider the plea bargain from all angles, and discuss it with your attorney before making a hasty decision.
Contact Carlos P. Gonzalez, an experienced trial attorney at 786-358-6888