When you are facing criminal charges, it’s normal to have a long list of questions about how your case will end and how the charges will affect your future. After being arrested, the first thing to do is to hire a criminal lawyer near Paterson. Your lawyer will guide you through all parts of your case and help you make the right decisions about choices you are presented with, such as a plea bargain. If you and your lawyer are considering a plea bargain, here are the answers to some questions you’re likely to have.
What Is a Plea Bargain?
A plea bargain is an agreement between you and a prosecutor that you will admit to being guilty of a crime in exchange for a lesser sentence or charge. They are often offered by a prosecutor when either there isn’t enough evidence to convict you in court or in instances when overcrowding in the courts makes it preferable to settle your case outside. By giving you a plea bargain, the prosecutor can focus on other cases, and the court calendar does not have to accommodate a trial date for you.
What Are the Different Types?
The most common type of plea bargain is a charge bargain, in which the prosecutor drops your charges to a less serious one that carries less severe penalties. A sentencing bargain, which is less common, promises a shortened sentence in exchange for a guilty plea and is only permitted in some jurisdictions. A third kind of plea bargain, called a fact bargain, is extremely rare. It allows defendants to admit to certain facts in court in exchange for keeping other facts out. In the places where it is allowed, most criminal defense lawyers are not in favor of it.
Who Should Accept a Plea Bargain?
There is no formula for when a plea bargain is fair and when it isn’t. For instance, if a plea bargain is being offered because there is not enough evidence to convict you, then your attorney may recommend that you pass on the offer. In other instances, a plea bargain can come with several advantages. Work with your criminal lawyer to determine the right answer for your case.