If you are facing criminal charges in Phoenix for an offense that you simply
did not do, then plea bargaining doesn’t exactly apply in your circumstances.
If you are innocent, obviously you want to fight your charges.
On the other hand, if the odds are not in your favor and the prosecution
has a significant amount of evidence against you, or if you are facing
multiple criminal charges – then you may want to consider entering
into a plea bargain.
Why do people enter plea bargains? Generally speaking, criminal defendants
accept plea bargains because they are pleading guilty to a lesser offense
and as a result of entering a plea deal, they receive lighter penalties
(less time behind bars, if any, and lighter fines).
There are many reasons why defendants accept plea bargains, but here are
some examples of the major advantages of accepting a plea bargain:
- Trials are risky and with a plea bargain, the defendant KNOWS the outcome,
- Less time behind bars (sometimes much less),
- Less fines (sometimes thousands less),
- Stress relief because a resolution to the case has been reached,
- The defendant can get the case over with much faster,
- Plea bargains are less stressful than trials,
- The defendant is convicted of a “less stigmatized” offense,
may avoid sex offender registration, and
- If the defendant is moved from jail to prison, he or she may gain access
to privileges that they would not have if they had to linger in jail while
Another key advantage to accepting a plea bargain that defendants may overlook
is saving a significant amount of money in legal fees. If the defendant
does not qualify for a public defender, they would save a lot of money
by accepting a plea bargain.
Jury trials are lengthy and require significantly more hours from a private
defense lawyer. Sometimes they even require expert testimony, which gets
expensive. So, when a criminal defendant is offered a plea bargain and
he or she accepts, they immediately save the hefty expense of a trial.
While a defendant may be offered a plea bargain, it does not mean that
he or she has to accept it. If the defendant is offered a plea bargain
but he or she would prefer to take their case to trial, then by all means
that is their constitutional right. Sometimes, the defendant is better off fighting their charges –
it all depends on the circumstances.
If you are facing criminal charges in Phoenix,
contact the Law Offices of Joshua S. Davidson, to explore all of your legal options with a