Advantages of a Plea Bargain

Advantages of a Plea Bargain

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 justice system.

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 access to.
  • 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 contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to explore all of your legal options.