If you have been charged with a crime, you may accept reduced charges and sentences so that you don't have to go to trial. This is known as plea bargaining, and it is a relatively common way of resolving criminal cases. However, you ought to consider the following potential disadvantages of plea bargaining before accepting a deal.
You May Feel Pressured Into a Deal
Plea bargaining is supposed to be voluntary; it should be a 'willing buyer, willing seller' type of situation. In reality, however, you are likely to feel pressured into making a deal if the prosecution approaches you with an offer. If the prosecution is motivated into making a deal, their pressure on you can be so high that it is almost like being coerced into a deal.
You May Be Convicted Even If Innocent
Another potential problem with plea bargaining is that you might end up being punished for a crime that you didn't commit. Many people don't want to stand trials for crimes, whether they are innocent or guilty. Maybe you don't have the money for legal defense, you don't want to waste time in court, or you don't want your private affairs made public. You might jump at the opportunity of plea bargaining even if you are innocent.
It Gives You a Criminal Record
In a criminal trial, you can either be acquitted or convicted of your charges; it depends on the prosecution's case and your defense. Thus, you have a chance of maintaining your clean criminal history if you go to trial. With plea bargaining, you have to plead guilty to some crime, which means a criminal history is guaranteed for you. A criminal history can affect various aspects of your life, including your education and career.
You Don't Have the Right to Appeal
If your case goes to trial and you lose, you still have one more chance for redemption via a criminal appeal. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may win the appeal and go free. If you opt for a plea deal, you basically confess to a crime, and with the confession, you have no chance of appealing your case. In effect, a plea deal seals your case even if you later learn that you could have had a better outcome if you had done things differently.
The Deal is Non-Binding
This is not to say that plea bargaining is always bad; plea bargaining has its advantages and disadvantages. Before you make a deal, consult a criminal defense lawyer so that you don't agree to something you would later regret.
Reach out to a company like Law Offices Of Harry G Lasser to learn more.