When you are facing felony charges, it is very likely that the prosecutor will at some point approach your attorney with the offer of a plea bargain in your case. While not all criminal cases end with plea bargains, these negotiations are necessary parts of the vast criminal justice system here in the United States.
Without plea bargaining, the sheer volume of cases to be set for trial would cause the system to collapse. It simply isn’t designed for each defendant to have their day in court. Thus, some plea bargains can appear to be the easiest way to end your case. But is it the right decision to make?
Plea bargains still leave you with a record
Having a criminal record of any type can be enough to close many doors for your future employment, housing, schooling and other areas of your life. Unless your plea bargain includes the promise of wiping it from your record, it could still hold you back.
Prosecutors offer pleas when the evidence is weak
Prosecutors are typically politicians who run on a strong-on-crime reputation. Losing cases, whether they be big or small, counts as a loss to their prosecutorial record. Plea bargains are considered wins, however. If the evidence against you is iffy and the witnesses sketchy or nonexistent, the prosecution might dangle a plea for a case they are likely to lose.
Review all options
In some circumstances, a plea bargain may be the best outcome that you can expect. However, you must weigh all your options and seek guidance to arrive at the best choice for your individual case.