Should I Take a Plea Bargain?

Often times defendants in a criminal case are offered a plea bargain by prosecutors; in other words, if you will agree to plead no contest or guilty to the charge, criminal penalties will likely be reduced. Whether or not you should accept a plea bargain depends largely on the details of your case. However, while it may be beneficial in some circumstances, never accept a plea bargain offered by prosecutors without first discussing your case with a trusted Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. It is vital to discuss your situation with a private lawyer, as most public defenders juggle hundreds of cases and will not have the time and resources to thoroughly investigate your case.

The Prosecutor's Objective is to Obtain a Conviction; Offering a Plea is Often a Strategy to Speed Cases Through the Criminal Justice System

It is important to note that prosecutors do not offer plea agreements because they want to help you; the fact is, a plea bargain is often a tactic used so that prosecutors and public defenders can push many cases through the system more efficiently. You case may be solid enough to win at trial, particularly if you are innocent. It is critical that you discuss your case with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who will provide solid legal support and guidance - and who will give your case the time and attention it deserves, putting your best interests first and foremost.

Prosecutors will work to convince you that by accepting their plea bargain, you could avoid being charged with a more serious criminal offense and thus the penalties that go along with it. The fact is, plea agreements are often offered by prosecutors because the evidence against you is weak, and therefore they cannot develop a strong case against you. Prosecutors do not want to lose at trial, and are not your advocates or friends. Prosecutors represent the state and work on the belief that you are guilty, regardless of the circumstances. When the evidence against you strongly supports your guilt, it may be advantageous to accept a plea bargain; however, when the evidence is weak or non-existent, accepting a plea agreement will leave you facing criminal penalties you may have otherwise not have faced had you gone to trial and won.

If You Accept a Plea Bargain, You Forfeit Your Right to Appeal

By pleading guilty or no contest to criminal charges, you may lose your right to appeal in the event you are sentenced unfairly. While the prosecutor may tell you he or she will recommend a sentence which is less harsh if you accept the plea deal, they cannot guarantee the sentence which is determined by the judge. Those who are found guilty at trial have the right to appeal a conviction or sentence; those who accept a plea deal often do not have that right.

The Justice Firm is a Criminal Defense Firm Prepared to Defend Your Rights

As highly regarded LA criminal defense attorneys, our top priority is protecting you from harsh and even life-changing criminal penalties. We will advise you if it is indeed in your best interest to accept a plea bargain. In some cases a prosecutor will not offer a plea agreement; if this is the case and going to trial is not in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a plea bargain so that serious penalties can be avoided and perhaps charges reduced.

Ultimately, anyone who is arrested or charged with a criminal offense should secure the support and guidance of a skilled criminal defense attorney who has the resources and time necessary to develop a solid case and defense strategy. At The Justice Firm, we will provide you with outstanding service, taking the time and using our skill and knowledge to ensure positive results. Contact us today at (310)914-2444.