If you were arrested for a crime, you will have the right to go through a trial that will determine if you are guilty or not. You are free to plead guilty or innocent during this trial, but you should realize that going through a trial can be costly and time-consuming. Because of this, the prosecutor handling the case might offer you a plea bargain. If you've never been charged with a crime before, you may have no idea as to whether to accept it or not. Your criminal lawyer can help you with this decision, and the lawyer will most likely base his or her advice on the following factors.
The Chances That The Prosecutor Might Drop The Case
The prosecutor assigned to your case works for the state and is responsible for trying criminal cases in court. When the prosecutor in your area receives each case, it is his or her job to thoroughly look at the case and decide whether to proceed with it through a trial or not. In many cases, the prosecutor will decide to follow through with cases, but there are also times when he or she may decide to drop or vacate the charges.
When charges are dropped, it means you will no longer have to go through a trial for the crime you have been arrested for. The entire case will be dropped as though the crime never occurred. If this happens in your case, you will not have to worry about accepting a plea bargain; however, this is not something that happens a lot.
There are only a few reasons prosecutors will decide to drop charges, and these may include the following reasons:
- Lack of evidence to tie you to the crime
- Problem with the way the arrest was made
- Crime was too minor to need a trial
If the prosecutor wants to proceed with the case but feels that it would not be worth the court's time and effort, he or she might offer you a plea bargain. A plea bargain requires you to admit guilt for the crime, but it rewards you by reducing the charges or consequences for the crime.
The Evidence Proves Your Innocence
In the court system, a person is innocent until proven guilty, and the evidence in the case will be a huge factor in the decision of whether or not you should accept a plea bargain. If there is a lot of evidence that ties you to the crime, it might be better to accept the plea bargain. This would save you time and money, but you would have to state to the court that you are guilty.
Accepting a plea bargain will result in the crime becoming part of your record, but it could also help you avoid major consequences.
The Risk Of Getting A Guilty Verdict
Deciding whether or not to accept a plea bargain ultimately comes down to the risks associated with not accepting it, and this is something your lawyer will be able to talk to you about. If you accept the plea bargain, you will not be able to get out of the charges; however, if you do not accept the plea bargain, there is always a chance the court might find you innocent of the charges. If this occurs, you will not have the charge on your record, and you will not have to face the consequences of the charge.
No matter what crime you are being charged with, you must have a criminal defense lawyer, such as Jeffrey D. Larson, Attorney at Law, to help you through this.