If you have been indicted and charged with a crime, you will be informed of the charges against you. From here, you will be arraigned and requested to enter a plea. Depending on the nature of your case, the prosecution may offer a plea deal at any stage of your trial.
The decision to accept or decline a plea deal is one that you should never make in a rush. While a plea deal might seem enticing, it is important to understand what it means for your case and future.
Here are two things you need to take into account before accepting a plea deal.
The weight of evidence against you
Sometimes, the prosecution might have a watertight case against you. In such instances, the possibility of a successful defense might be diminished. Consequently, accepting a plea deal in return for lighter sentencing might make sense. On the other hand, if the prosecution does not seem to have sufficient evidence, then you may decline the plea deal with the hope that your case will be dismissed.
The implications of accepting the plea deal
By accepting a plea deal, you are essentially pleading guilty to a lesser charge in return for lenient punishment. This means that you will pay your dues to society and your guilty plea will eventually end up on your record. Additionally, you will also lose your right to appeal the conviction. Finally, you will also forfeit certain privileges such as the right to vote or own a firearm.
The decision to accept or reject a plea deal largely depends on the circumstances of your case. Find out how you protect your rights and interests while facing a criminal charge.