Generally, criminal defendants fall into two main categories: those that
are completely innocent of the charges against them, and those that did
in fact make a mistake. When defendants are innocent or when their rights
were violated, for obvious reasons they should fight their charges.
But, what about those cases where the state has overwhelming evidence against
a defendant? Should they plead guilty to every charge and spend years,
if not the rest of their life behind bars?
For defendants in these types of situations, plea bargaining can offer
a favorable alternative over accepting the full wrath of the criminal
Plea Bargaining Means Less Penalties
Simply put, plea bargaining can be an attractive option because the defendant
usually receives a lighter sentence for a less serious charge than what
would likely result from a conviction at a criminal trial. Not only that,
but it avoids the stress of a drawn-out trial.
If the defendant hires a private
criminal defense attorney, they can save a bundle in legal fees because they are drastically
cutting down the costs of their case. As a general rule, plea bargains
involve a lot less time, money and effort than a full-blown trial.
Other benefits to plea bargaining, include:
- If the defendant is in custody and they cannot afford bail or they do not
have a right to bail, they may get out of jail immediately after the judge
accepts the plea. Depending on the crime committed, the defendant may
be released on probation, or with or without community service. If the
defendant has to serve more time, they would likely get out sooner than
if their case had gone to trial.
- Even if the plea means that the defendant is moved from jail to prison,
this can be a positive, especially if the prison is safer and more comfortable
than the jail was. Often, prison convicts are entitled to privileges that
defendants who are sitting in jail, awaiting their trial don’t have
- Being charged with a crime is very stressful and when defendants reach
a plea deal, they are relieved to reach a resolution quickly. For example,
a defendant with a job who is charged with a minor offense may accept
a plea so it can be resolved in one court appearance instead of having
to miss a lot of work due to a trial.
- Some defendants accept a plea so they can have a less socially stigmatized
conviction on their criminal record. A conviction for a lesser offense
can mean the defendant doesn’t have to register as a sex offender,
and it can mean that family and friends won’t frown upon the defendant.
For defendants entering state prison, being convicted of a less stigmatized
offense means they have less chances of being attacked or killed in prison.
These are just some of the major advantages of plea bargaining, however,
there are many more. If you are facing criminal charges in
Plano or Dallas, we urge you to
The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to explore all of your legal options.