Although a defendant may genuinely believe they did not commit the crime(s) they are charged with, a plea bargain may be an attractive option if offered by the prosecution. A criminal trial may be prolonged or delayed and end up lasting months, which can seriously disrupt a defendant’s life and quickly rack up legal expenses. Below, we discuss situations where a defendant may be interested in pleading out.
You Couldn’t Make Bail
Some defendants not be able to afford their bail or may even be denied bail, resulting in mandatory incarceration until a judge and jury hears the case. A plea bargain may be attractive to defendants who could not get bailed out, because they may released much sooner than if they went to trial. A plea bargain could also not have any jail time at all or punishment may be satisfied by time already served. If detention is imposed, the time spent in jail could be shorter than the period spent in confinement while waiting to go to trial.
You Will Be Allowed to Preserve Your Rights
In many cases, a felony charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor when a plea bargain is offered. This allows a criminal defendant to keep civil rights like their right to vote and the right to own and bear arms. If convicted of a felony, these rights are usually lost.
Your Reputation Will Be Protected or Preserved
Certain criminal offenses are often considered “worse” than others in the court of public opinion, such as child abuse, domestic violence, and sex offenses. By accepting a plea deal, a defendant can likely avoid an embarrassing public trial and may be able to protect relationships with family, friends, and their community. They may also be able to protect people who would otherwise also be questioned and tried.
You Were Advised By Your Lawyer That a Plea Deal Is Your Best Option
If a defense attorney indicates that accepting a plea deal is the wisest option considering your case, you should strongly consider it. Criminal defense attorneys are knowledgeable about the many possible legal outcomes and can arm you with the information needed to choose the best path forward in your case.
How Massachusetts Defense Lawyer Thomas Kokonowski Can Help You
If you were arrested and charged with a crime of any kind, it’s in your best interests to secure legal representation right away. Call Massachusetts criminal defense attorney Thomas Kokonowski at 413-585-9200 (Northampton), 413-549-0022 (Amherst), or 413-737-9700 (Springfield).