Let’s face it – being arrested is a terrifying experience. If you have been charged with a crime, you may be tempted to accept the prosecution’s first plea offer under the stress of the situation. But is this a good idea? While in some cases plea bargaining can be a wise choice, it is always important to make sure you are getting the best deal you can before making a decision.
Before accepting a plea bargain, it is important you consider the following:
- Consult with an attorney: Your first priority before accepting any sort of plea offer is to consult with your attorney. While you may have a certain level of knowledge of the criminal justice system, a criminal defense lawyer will almost always have handled more cases and will be better equipped to weigh whether or not the prosecution’s proposed deal is desirable. Likewise, an attorney can analyze the evidence against you and determine if they can negotiate for a better deal. In some cases, prosecutors may be willing to make a better plea bargain simply because they see that you are prepared to fight your charges.
- Weigh the evidence: Given the crowded nature of the criminal justice system, many prosecutors are willing to “negotiate” a plea bargain simply as a way of resolving the matter and getting your case off their desk as quickly as possible – even if they know that your case may be strong enough to go to trial. Similarly, a prosecutor’s first offer is often what they think they could get on their best day in court – which is also your worst-case scenario. Your attorney can counter their proposition and pursue an arrangement that is more attractive.
- Protect your interests: While you may be willing to do anything to relieve yourself from the stress of your situation, it is important to remember that prosecutors are not on your side and do not have your best interests in mind. Prosecutors are employees of the state and operate under the assumption that you are guilty. If you plead guilty to a crime and are sentenced unfairly, you may be unable to appeal the sentence.
In many cases, the quality of the plea bargain you receive will be largely dependent on the quality and creativity of the criminal defense attorney you have by your side. If you have been accused of a crime, contact Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys today. Backed by a 10.0 “Superb” Avvo Rating and a listing on the National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 for our unparalleled advocacy, our Mesa criminal defense lawyers can provide the aggressive representation you need to maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome.
Call (480) 378-9000 or contact our firm online today to discuss your charges with our advocates.