As an alternative to taking your case to trial, the prosecution may offer a plea bargain. You should only accept such a deal upon the advice of your legal counsel.
Listening to your attorney’s advice is very important when a plea deal is on the table because your freedom, criminal history, and liability for fines and/or restitution are on the line. Your attorney has the experience to help you assess your chances of securing a better outcome by going to trial or proposing a counteroffer.
With experienced legal support on your side, you can feel more confident about securing the best possible outcome when you’re facing criminal charges in Illinois.
What Is a Plea Bargain?
A plea bargain is an agreement between a criminal defendant and a prosecutor. In exchange for pleading guilty or no contest, the prosecutor may reduce or drop certain charges and/or offer a lighter sentence than would be possible if the defendant was convicted after a trial. It is important to note that not all cases are eligible for plea bargaining; some must go to trial.
Plea bargains, however, are often used in criminal cases as they allow both parties to avoid the hassle and cost of a lengthy trial. By agreeing to a plea bargain, the defendant admits guilt while still avoiding some of the consequences of going to trial. For prosecutors, it can also be beneficial because it saves them time and resources that would otherwise be used during a trial.
Ultimately, plea bargains can result in an outcome that is beneficial for all parties involved. That said, defendants should always seek advice from a qualified attorney before agreeing to any type of plea bargain. It’s important to keep in mind that there may be other options available and that the agreement must take into consideration both the
Why You Should Accept a Plea Deal
In some cases, accepting the prosecution’s plea deal is the best chance you’ll have of avoiding the most severe penalties you could incur if convicted by a jury.
Accepting a plea deal might be right for you when:
- Your attorney advises you to accept the deal
- You know you are responsible for the charges against you
- The prosecution’s case against you is overwhelming
- You can avoid a lengthy prison sentence
- You can avoid going to prison at all
It can’t be stressed enough that you should always consult with your attorney before accepting a plea deal. While you may feel your chances of going to trial are hopeless, it may not be in your best interests to accept a plea deal anyway – especially when doing so means admitting guilt to a crime you may not have committed.
Why You Should Reject a Plea Deal
Accepting a plea deal may not always lead to the best possible outcome. Under certain circumstances, it may be in your best interest to reject a plea deal and allow your case to proceed to trial.
You may wish to reject a plea deal when:
- You know you didn’t commit the alleged crime and don’t want to plead guilty to it.
- The plea deal doesn’t significantly reduce the penalties or charges against you.
- The evidence supporting the prosecution’s case against you is very weak.
- There is evidence that can demonstrate you didn’t or couldn’t have committed the alleged crime.
- Your defense attorney expects that you may be offered a better plea deal in the future.
As with every stage of your criminal defense, it’s important to have legal counsel you trust to have your best interests in mind. When you work with an attorney who truly values protecting your rights and freedom, you can secure the best possible outcome.
Consult with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
At the Law Office of Steven Fine, we understand how intimidating it can be to face criminal charges. That's why we provide experienced and compassionate legal representation to help clients get the best outcome possible. Our team of experienced defense attorneys will work with you to defend against any criminal charges, assess whether any plea deals offered by the prosecution are good opportunities, and protect your rights.
Our experienced counsel is committed to providing you with the best legal advice available in order to achieve a successful outcome for your case. We will fight hard for your justice and ensure that all of your rights are respected throughout the process.
For more information, contact the Law Office of Steven Fine and request a consultation.