If you are facing criminal charges you may be wondering, “Will my
case settle through a plea bargain or will it go to trial?” It depends.
If your defense attorney feels that he or she has discussed a “good
plea deal” with the prosecutor and you refuse to accept, the ultimate
decision to accept a plea bargain or proceed with trial rests with you.
Essentially, a defense lawyer cannot force you to plead guilty to lesser
charges and they cannot accept a plea bargain on your behalf, without
your consent. For example, let’s say you’re being charged
with aggravated assault and you insist you were acting in self-defense.
The prosecutor is offering you a deal – you plead guilty to
assault (a reduced charge) under Sec. 22.01 of the Texas Penal Code (a Class A
misdemeanor), instead of aggravated assault (a felony of the second degree).
However, you refuse to accept the plea deal because you insist that you
were defending yourself. You believe that you did what you had to do and
had no choice but to fight back.
In this scenario, you have every right to have you defense attorney tell
the prosecutor that there’s no deal. Even if your lawyer recommends
you take a deal, they cannot accept one without your approval.
If your attorney feels that you should take a deal and you reject it, you
can expect your lawyer to send you a letter, which will explain the deal
and the fact that you rejected it, despite his or her recommendations
that you take the offer.
Should You Accept a Plea Bargain?
As a criminal defendant, it’s your choice whether to offer or accept
a plea bargain. Defense attorneys enforce this right by acting on behalf
of their clients. If you want to offer a plea bargain, your defense lawyer
is ethically required to relay your offer to the prosecutor.
Your defense attorney is also required to inform the prosecutor whether
or not you accept the prosecutor’s plea. While you should certainly
listen to your defense lawyer’s advice, you are the one who ultimately
decides how to proceed.
No matter what, it is your defense attorney's duty to communicate your
wishes to the prosecutor, regardless if they agree with your choices.
Are you facing criminal charges in Plano or Dallas?
Contact our firm to for
hard-hitting defense representation!