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Plea Bargains and How an Attorney Can Help

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When you're arrested, you may have a few options available to you. You can sit in jail and go through the legal process for taking your case to trial, you can get out on bail until your trial date, or you can accept a plea bargain agreement.

The information here will give you detailed information on plea bargains, explaining how they work, why they can benefit you greatly, and how having a private attorney can help you get the best plea bargain possible.

What Is a Plea Bargain?

A plea bargain is an agreement made between you and the prosecutor. With a plea bargain agreement, you will be required to plead one of two ways: no contest or guilty. In exchange for your plea, the prosecutor agrees to lessen at least one of your charges or even drop one or more of your charges.

Plea bargains are done to free up the court's already full calendar and to save money, since trials are expensive. Also, plea bargains allow the prosecutor to retain some power over your case's results, since the results of trials can be unpredictable. Plea bargains allow the prosecutor to put your case behind them in a manner of minutes, whereas trials can drag on for months.

What Kind of Plea Bargains Are Done?

A variety of plea bargains are done for different considerations regarding cases. The two most common types of plea bargains include the following.

Plea Bargains on the Charges

Plea bargains on charges are the types of plea bargains done the most often. This type of plea bargain involves the defendant agreeing to plead either guilty or no contest to a lesser charge than the one they were arrested for.

Plea Bargains on the Sentences

Plea bargains on sentences involve the defendant pleading guilty or no contest to the original charges. In exchange for their plea, the defendant is given a lighter sentence than they would be facing if found guilty during a trial. This plea bargain needs the sitting judge's approval and isn't an option in some jurisdictions.

When Are Plea Bargains Made?

Plea bargains can be negotiated at any point during the case. A plea bargain can be made shortly after you have been arrested and before the prosecutor has filed charges against you. Plea bargains can also be made before a trial begins and even during the trial.

How Long Do You Have to Accept a Plea Deal?

When a plea bargain negotiation begins, there isn't a legal amount of time in which you must accept the plea deal. However, the prosecutor can put a time frame on the plea deal, in which they want an answer by a certain time or day. Many times, the prosecutor will want an answer before they do any more work on the case. They may revoke the offer once they have prepared the case for trial.

How Can a Plea Bargain Benefit You?

A plea bargain can benefit you in many ways. Accepting a plea deal can save you money by not incurring the legal expenses of a trial defense. Accepting a plea deal also lets you know what you are getting, which can help you avoid the stress of not knowing and allow you to adequately plan for your future. Accepting a deal may allow you to get out of doing any jail time, depending on your case and how much the plea bargain brings down the charges.

How Can a Private Attorney Help You?

When you hire an attorney, the attorney will give your case the appropriate amount of attention to be able to negotiate with the prosecutor. The attorney may be able to get you a much better plea bargain than what was originally offered.

If you have been arrested, contact us now. We at the Law Offices of Scott J. Forster can discuss your case with you, and we may be able to help you with your case so you get the best results possible.

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