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What’s the problem with plea deals?

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

If you are facing criminal charges, there is a high probability that the prosecution will offer you a plea deal. However attractive their offer might seem, it’s important to understand the ins and outs of plea deals before you commit to one.

Plea deals have revolutionized the U.S. court system. They’re fast and efficient and research shows that this is how prosecutors seal the vast majority of convictions – 98% of federal ones and 95% of state-level ones.

The fact that prosecutors favor plea deals should be a warning to defendants

As a defendant, your ideal outcome will look very different from a prosecutor’s ideal outcome. They want a quick and easy conviction. You might be better served by taking your time and going to court to fight to clear your name.

It’s certainly possible that taking a plea deal is your best option. However, even if you believe a plea deal is in your interest, you should refrain from jumping at the first offer. Another name for plea deals is plea bargains – which shows that you have the power to try and negotiate and strike a better deal than the first one the prosecution puts on the table.

Prosecutors can be pushy

Prosecutors want you to take a deal and may exaggerate the consequences of not doing so. For example, they may claim that if you go to court you will receive a 10-year sentence when in reality a judge may only hand out a much lesser sentence or clear you altogether.

There are many ways to fight a criminal charge, and even if you committed a crime, you always have a chance of acquittal. Seeking legal guidance can help you make informed choices.