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What are plea deals?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

The criminal justice system is overwhelmed, so it can take a considerable amount of time for a defendant to make it to a trial. Plea deals are one way defendants can resolve their cases without going through that lengthy wait.

Plea deals aren’t suitable for every case. Defendants should only consider this option if they actually committed the crime they’re pleading guilty to.

Consider these negotiation points

Several points are up for negotiation in a plea deal. The prosecution will require the defendant to plead either guilty or no contest to resolve the matter, However, this doesn’t mean they have to enter the plea to the original charge.

In exchange for a specific plea, the prosecution may agree to recommend a lighter sentence. They may also reduce the charge to a lesser one. Defendants need to understand what they’re agreeing to completely.

Once the plea deal terms are reached, the court must approve it before it’s official. There’s a chance the court will decline the plea deal or require changes to it, but this doesn’t happen often.

Don’t count on an appeal

One clause that’s typically included in plea deals is that the defendant is giving up their right to appeal the conviction and sentence. This is done because the defendant has the ability to decline the terms of the plea deal during the negotiation process.

Anyone who’s interested in a plea deal should always have legal guidance. This is never something you should do on your own. Taking all factors into consideration can help defendants better determine how to proceed.