Did you know that most criminal cases in Texas actually don’t go to trial? Instead, they’re resolved through a plea bargain. If you have been arrested for a crime in the Lone Star State, there is a chance that prosecutors will offer a plea deal. It’s important to understand what this means and whether or not it’s a good idea to accept the bargain.
What’s a Plea Bargain?
A plea bargain is exactly what you think it is – an agreement to plead to a crime with a lower penalty, or pleading to a crime in exchange for a reduced sentence. In a sense, these agreements are actually contacts, and they’re negotiated between the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney. You, as the accused, have a say in the process, but that is usually only to agree or disagree to the plea deal. You’re not involved with the negotiating process.
What Is the Point?
The entire point of a plea deal is to get you to admit your guilt, usually in return for a more favorable sentence. What type of improvement might you see in sentencing from a plea deal? Actually, it could include any of the following, or even a combination of the following:
- Reduced jail time
- Deferred adjudication
- Pre-trial diversion
- Community service
- Unique conditions imposed during sentencing
Is a Plea Deal Right for You?
It is important to understand that plea deals have both pros and cons. There is no single solution that will fit all cases, so you’ll need to work with your attorney to determine whether taking an offered plea deal is worth it, or if you would be better served by going to trail.
- Plea deals greatly increase the speed of case resolution, allowing you to get on with your life faster.
- Plea deals may prevent you from seeing the maximum sentence for a crime.
- Plea deals may allow you to get help for drug/substance abuse.
- Plea deals may help you avoid jail time or a conviction.
- A plea deal involves admitting your guilt.
- You could lose some rights, such as the right to bear arms.
- You could face deportation (in illegal alien cases).
- You could be subject to an order of protection.
Each case must be examined based on its own merits. In some situations, taking a plea deal is the best option. In others, going to trial is the better choice. Call the Blacknall Firm today at 214-678-9111 to discuss your case and how we can help.