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What Happens if I Accept a Plea Deal?

Suppose you made a mistake and ultimately, it led to an arrest and criminal charges being filed against you. The state conducted an investigation and they end up having a mountain of evidence against you. Now, your defense attorney is suggesting you accept a plea bargain. You’re highly considering accepting, so you’re wondering, “What will happen if I decide to accept the state’s plea deal?”

When people accept plea bargains, the criminal outcome is very similar to pleading guilty to a charge. With a plea bargain, the prosecutor and the criminal defense attorney agree to a plea deal (with the defendant’s blessing of course), and the agreement is made official during a public court hearing.

If you agree to a plea bargain, you will need to make a “verbal agreement” during a hearing. During this hearing, you would waive your right to a jury trial. Just because you accept a plea bargain, it doesn’t mean the judge will accept it for face value. The judge will review the plea bargain, and if he or she wants to tweak any aspects of the deal, he or she can fine-tune the proposed sentence based on the facts of the case and the nature of the crime.

Am I at the Judge’s Mercy?

If the judge on your case decides to make adjustments to the plea bargain, you’re at the judge’s mercy. You’ll have to take the judge’s sentence; you cannot deny or reject the judge’s terms. That said, what are the benefits of taking a plea deal? Here are some examples:

  • If you’re in custody and you cannot afford bail, or you don’t have a right to it, you may get out of jail after the judge accepts the plea.
  • Depending on the crime committed, you may get out of jail on probation, or you may get out of jail altogether.
  • You will generally face lighter sentencing and penalties by accepting a plea.
  • Your charges may be reduced to a lesser offense.
  • You could have a less serious offense on your criminal record.
  • You will likely have less attorney fees because it’s far more cost-effective to take a plea than it is to go to trial.
  • You may have a less stigmatized offense on your record.

We hope this information helps you understand what happens when defendants accept plea bargains. If you are facing criminal charges in Plano or Dallas, we urge you to contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC for a confidential consultation!