There is no clear data that shows how many cases are resolved through plea deals, but it is estimated that around 90-95% of federal and state cases are. Because there is a high likelihood that you will be offered a plea deal if you are charged with a crime, it’s important to understand exactly what this means.
What is a plea deal?
Plea deals, which are also known as plea bargains, are agreements made between the prosecutor and defendant. The defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest in exchange for the prosecutor dropping charges, reducing charges, or recommending a lower sentence to the judge.
When are plea deals made?
A plea deal can be made at any time during the court proceedings, although negotiations usually begin in the early stages of the process. Either side can initiate a conversation about a plea bargain, but if it’s the defendant’s idea, the prosecutor must be willing to make a deal in order for it to happen. Also, most plea deals are not finalized until a judge has approved of the agreement.
Why do prosecutors and defendants make plea bargains?
Prosecutors offer plea deals so they can save the time and money needed to take a case to trial. Making a plea deal also saves them from dealing with the uncertainty that comes with trying a case before a jury.
Accepting a plea bargain may be a good idea for a defendant depending on the details of the case. If there is a lot of evidence against the defendant, taking a plea bargain may be beneficial. Defendants can also avoid the high cost of a trial by taking a plea bargain. However, it’s important to note that you should never agree to a plea deal without first talking to an attorney. A criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you on whether accepting a plea bargain is a wise move in your case.
What are the consequences of a plea deal?
Pleading guilty as part of a plea bargain will result in a criminal conviction on your record. The conviction will appear just as it would if you had been found guilty by a jury. This means the conviction could affect many aspects of your life, including your ability to find employment or housing in the future.
If you have been charged with a crime, don’t make any decisions regarding how you will plead until you have consulted with an attorney. Our criminal defense attorneys will review your case to determine whether it is better to accept a plea deal or take your case to trial. Schedule a free consultation with Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.