No matter what the crime, going to trial can be a difficult journey for anyone. When facing charges for a criminal offense, there are many legal directions you can take. Among those, one of the most commonly utilized tools in the justice system is the plea agreement. Also called plea bargains, most criminal cases never actually make it to court because of the appeal of these deals. But, should you accept a plea agreement if you are charged with a criminal offense?
What Does A Plea Agreement Entail?
A plea agreement can be different every time, depending on the circumstances of your case. Some of the common inclusions in a plea agreement include: levying for lighter penalties, dropping charges for multiple crimes, or even reducing the severity of one or more of the charges. In any individual case, this means the specifics of a plea agreement can vary greatly.
For instance, perhaps you are charged with three or four separate crimes as the result of your actions. A plea deal may be as simple as pleading guilty to just one of these charges, effectively eliminating the penalties of the others. Alternatively, if you are charged with a single crime, a DUI for instance, you might plea into a lesser charge, such as reckless driving.
Understanding Your Plea Agreement
Before considering any plea agreement, it’s essential that you have a full understanding of the terms. One thing to bear in mind with any agreement offered is that the prosecutor is looking to get the “best” results for their case. In effect, this doesn’t always mean it’s best for you to accept the terms blindly. Instead, having an experienced defense lawyer on your side to negotiate terms of the plea bargain can be instrumental in striking the best deal. While a trial can be costly and time-consuming, accepting a plea agreement without fully understanding the terms is not advised either.
Should You Go To Trial Instead?
While an initial proposal for your agreement may not be quite favorable, it’s important to remember just how costly a trial can be. And, if you do decide to go to trial and are facing multiple charges, losing that trial will usually mean much more severe sentencing. For this reason, accepting the deal can be beneficial.
Understanding Your Legal Rights
Ultimately, retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney is your best resource when it comes to navigating the difficult peculiarities of the Florida legal landscape. Weighing the benefits of a plea deal against the potential victory in a trial can be difficult without more perspective. At Piotrowski Law, we work closely with you to examine your individual case and to determine your best option. Led by a former prosecuting attorney, our legal professionals understand the outcomes a prosecutor is looking for and are better equipped to negotiate your best deal.
Whatever offenses you might be charged with, call Piotrowski Law today at (305) 204-5000 for a free consultation, and to find out how we can help protect your legal rights.