If you’ve seen a crime drama unfold on television, then you’ve likely heard about plea deals. What you may not know is what motivates prosecutors to make such offers to defendants. You may also wonder why you should consider agreeing to a plea deal instead of going to trial. You’ll want to learn about these before deciding whether accepting a plea deal is best for you in your case.
How common is plea bargaining in the U.S.?
At least 90% of the criminal cases prosecutors file annually in the U.S. end with a defendant accepting a plea deal, so there’s a strong chance that they may offer you one if you’re facing charges yourself.
Why do prosecutors offer plea deals?
Our nation’s legal system and court dockets are notoriously overcrowded. Prosecutors frequently plea bargain to free up the court’s schedule and protect a defendant’s right to a speedy trial.
Prosecutors may also offer plea deals to free up their own time so that they can focus their attention on more complex or high-notoriety cases.
Plea bargaining can serve as a good indicator of how confident prosecutors are in their cases. They may be more willing to plea bargain the less confident they are in the successful outcome of an iffy case.
Why do defendants often agree to plea deals?
Defendants assume a significant risk when they take their cases to trial. Taking a plea deal minimizes their degree of uncertainty and keeps litigation costs to a minimum.
Many defendants also accept plea deals because prosecutors agree to seek lesser charges or in hopes that the judge will reduce their sentence and penalties associated with the alleged offense.
Penalties associated with violating the terms of a plea deal
Plea bargaining is a negotiation. A plea deal is essentially an agreement that involves a defendant making specific admissions or accepting certain terms in exchange for prosecutors making other ones. The prosecution can revoke any plea deal that you sign if you fail to uphold your obligation as the defendant, such as testifying in another case.
Brokering a plea deal in your case
Most defendants who find themselves facing criminal charges want their legal problems to go away as soon as possible, Thus, they may enter into plea deals hoping for a swift resolution in their Dallas cases. A drug charges attorney can facilitate plea negotiations with Texas prosecutors when your prospects aren’t looking good in your legal matter.