Facing a charge in the criminal justice system can be disheartening, especially when you start to consider your options for a defense strategy. Typically, it’s best to have someone on your side who can help you explore the options and determine which is best for you.
For some defendants, entering into a plea deal is the best option because it provides more control over what happens than letting a jury decide. If you’re considering a plea deal, think about these points before you agree to one.
You must plead guilty to the crime
The only people who should entertain the possibility of a plea bargain are those who admit they are guilty of the crime. As part of the deal, you’re going to have to plead either guilty or no contest to the charges.
Terms of a plea deal vary
There are several things that can be included in a plea deal. These include specific sentences or even reduced charges. In some cases, a plea deal may include keeping certain facts out of the public record. It’s critical for defendants to understand exactly what’s included in the deal before they agree to it.
Appeals aren’t possible
Once you enter into a plea deal, the judge will take steps to ensure that you fully understand the terms. As part of the plea deal, you’ll have to agree that you won’t appeal the sentence. This is another reason why you should ensure that you’re completely comfortable with all the terms of the deal.
Ultimately, your defense strategy has to be the one you’re most comfortable with. As you consider the options, think about how each one will impact you now and into the future.