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Taking a plea deal may not be in your best interests

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense

You may think that accepting a plea bargain is an easy way out of your legal troubles, but that’s not necessarily the case. Before jumping in with both feet if you’ve been offered a plea deal, it’s prudent to understand the potential consequences associated with this course of action.

Accepting a plea deal means admitting to breaking the law and facing the consequences of your criminal offense. Beyond the legal penalties, you will also likely have a criminal record, which can affect your life for years to come. It may be hard to secure employment or housing as a result.

Accepting a plea deal also involves giving up some constitutional rights, such as the right to a fair trial, the right against self-incrimination and the right to question the prosecution witnesses or evidence against you. In other words, you will not have a chance to prove your innocence or uncover flaws in the prosecution’s case.

You may stand a chance at trial

Sometimes, the prosecution’s case may not be strong enough to result in a conviction. There may be legal or procedural mistakes that you could exploit if you go to trial. You could potentially secure a more favorable outcome than the plea deal offers by presenting your case before a judge or jury and challenging the prosecution’s evidence. Think carefully about what an acquittal could mean for your future. Not only does would it clear your name of any wrongdoing, but also eliminate the lasting consequences of a criminal record.

Plea deals are unique, and whether yours is a “good bargain” depends on the particulars of your situation. Consider seeking legal guidance for a qualified evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of your case and whether the terms of the plea deal are in your best interests, given the prevailing circumstances, before agreeing to or rejecting the specifics.