You might imagine prosecutions typically are resolved in a dramatic courtroom trial in which the defendant is either convicted or set free. In reality, most criminal law cases end in a plea bargain. In this deal, the prosecutor agrees to pursue lesser charges or recommend a reduced sentence if you plead guilty, sparing the state the cost and expense of a trial. While this arrangement might be in your best interests, you should consider the consequences and other options carefully before making a decision.
Consequences of a Plea Deal in Criminal Law
Even if you don't serve jail time, a plea bargain will appear as a conviction on your record, which could make finding a job in some industries more difficult. Depending on the nature of the criminal law charges you face, you even could be excluded from renting a home in some areas.
You also should consider financial penalties associated with a criminal conviction. For instance, if you have been accused of a DUI, accepting a plea deal probably will send your car insurance premiums skyrocketing.
When Should You Accept a Plea?
There are many instances in which accepting a plea is your best option, but you shouldn't rely on the recommendation of the prosecutor in your case. Remember they are looking out for their best interests, not yours.
Before pleading guilty to any charge, talk with an experienced criminal law attorney who will review the circumstances of your case and determine the best way to proceed. If the prosecution is likely to prevail at trial, your lawyer will recommend taking the deal. They even might be able to negotiate better terms on your behalf.
As one of the most established and respected criminal law attorneys in the Lexington, KY, area, Edward E. Dove, Attorney at Law will provide the aggressive representation you deserve. He will be dedicated to your case, no matter the charges you face. If you have been accused of a crime, call their offices at (859) 252-0020 to arrange a consultation. You also can contact the firm on their website, where you’ll find more information about their practice areas.