Considering the Pros and Cons of a Plea Bargain

Considering the Pros and Cons of a Plea Bargain

Benefits and Consequences
A plea bargain requires a defendant to plead their guilt for a lesser charge than the one they are initially accused of committing. In exchange, prosecutors agree to shorter prison sentences, a dismissal of additional charges, or a dismissal of greater charges.

South King County Criminal Defense AttorneySome prosecutors offer a defendant a plea bargain that will reduce their sentence, but still require the defendant to plead guilty to a serious charge. This may not be beneficial to the defendant in the long term.

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Initial Appearance and Arraignment
Judges typically do not have jurisdictional authority required for plea bargains at the initial appearance of a case. Therefore, the arraignment stage of the trial is when plea bargains are often offered to the defendant. The reasons for offering plea bargains include a defendant’s inability to meet bail and increased pressure on the prosecutor.

For an attorney with more experience in this area, we recommend Chris Gore.

Probation Versus Jail Time
Often, pleading guilty allows a defendant to be released on probation. An innocent plea forces defendants to remain in jail. Unfortunately, agreeing to probation may require defendants to plead to a more serious charge. Additionally, probation requires strict obligations that are difficult to fulfill. Any violation of these difficult terms can result in a severe sentence.

Contact an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer at The Law Office of John Hairgrove today.