Are Brooklyn Plea Deals Ever a Good Thing?
Most criminal cases end in plea bargains. While other outcomes are often better, it’s impossible to deny that plea bargaining is woven into the fabric of our criminal justice system. Sometimes, they’re even a good thing.
You should never take a plea bargain without first speaking to a qualified criminal defense attorney. Nevertheless, we can give you some general guidelines and issues to consider when a plea bargain is offered.
How strong is the prosecution’s case?
If you know the evidence will tend to support your guilt (or even if you know you’re guilty), then a plea bargain can be a great deal. Reducing the crime’s severity and avoiding retaliation can take years off your sentence.
Judges sometimes punish criminal defendants who insist on a trial by maximizing their sentence when they plead guilty. While this is arguably a form of unfair coercion, none can deny it happens. Sometimes it’s best to avoid testing fate—or trying a judge’s patience.
Is the prosecution offering time served?
It’s sad but true: many people who have not been convicted of any crime sit in jail for months or years before they make it to trial. The “speedy” part of your right to a speedy trial is often undermined by laws that allow prosecutors to delay the process for various reasons and by court backlogs.
While accepting the plea bargain may mean accepting a criminal conviction—a tough pill to swallow if you’re innocent—it also means going home. You’ll be able to turn your attention towards rebuilding your life.
Will the deal keep the charge off your record?
Not all plea bargains result in jail time. A deferred prosecution agreement is technically a plea bargain. You meet certain conditions, and the prosecution agrees not to move forward with charging you. If you meet all the conditions, they drop the charges.
For many of our clients, a deal like that one is too good to pass up.
Are the terms of the deal objectively good?
Is the prosecution downgrading a felony charge to a misdemeanor charge? Are you being offered community service or electronic monitoring instead of jail time? Will you be given the minimum possible sentence?
All these potential deals are well worth your thorough consideration.
Get Help Today
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Brooklyn, you’ll need expert guidance through every step of the process from a lawyer who has the time and energy to work your cases and give good advice.
Plea deals can be a good case outcome, but they shouldn’t be your lawyer’s first, last, and only resort.
Contact our office to get started today.