Due to precautions related to COVID-19, we have expanded our options for remote consultations. Please contact our office to discuss whether a full phone consultation or video conference is appropriate for your situation.

Should you consider a plea bargain?

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2017 | Criminal Defense

There is often a delicate balance between challenging any criminal accusations made against you and securing the best possible outcome to your case. As is the case in any legal matter in Richmond, the longer a criminal complaint is argued, the more resources are expended (on both sides). Thus, those prosecuting you may be motivated to resolve your case without going to trial. This may open up the door to the potential of a plea bargain. Careful consideration of such an offer may be warranted depending on the circumstances of your case. 

You should never feel compelled to accept a plea bargain on the grounds of convenience for any of the parties involved in your case. There may, however, come a point where you simply want to resolve the matter hanging over you and move on in your life. You may also want to consider the potential of facing a heavier sentence if you choose to allow a jury to hear your case. In a majority of plea bargaining scenarios, prosecutors will agree to pursue a reduced sentence against you in exchange for you pleading no contest or guilty. Sentencing data reaffirms this point. In its Overview of Criminal Cases for the 2016 fiscal year, the United States Sentencing Commission shows that 97.3 percent of federal cases ended in guilty pleas, with 49.1 percent of those resulting in sentences below sentencing guidelines. 

By plea bargaining, your guilt is established, and you do agree to accept the consequences that come with a conviction. However, you may be able to negotiate to have your records sealed as part of your agreement. What has been shared here should not be taken as legal advice, but rather information to help you in making an informed decision relative to your case.