In a criminal case, a plea bargain is the agreement between the prosecutor and the defense attorney to settle a criminal case. While the lawyers typically negotiate the terms of the plea agreement, it is up to the defendant to accept or reject it.
In most cases, when a plea bargain is on the table, the defendant is asked to plead guilty to either just one charge or a lesser charge. The acceptance of a plea bargain is often beneficial because the defendant is able to avoid the costs associated with going to trial.
However, deciding if or when to accept a plea bargain can be tricky.
When Should a Plea Bargain be Accepted?
A person’s criminal defense attorney in Maryland can help them determine when they should – or should not – accept a plea agreement. There is no question that getting arrested and facing significant legal charges is intimidating and overwhelming. As a result, accepting a plea bargain may seem like an easy decision – especially when facing several different charges. Before accepting a plea agreement, it is important to make sure of a few things.
What does the Criminal Attorney in Maryland Have to Say?
Even if a person has faced criminal charges in the past, each situation is different. It is best to discuss the agreement with an attorney to determine whether or not it is a fair offer. The attorney can assess the situation and determine a probable outcome. They can also let a client know if there is any way to negotiate further for even more favorable terms in the plea agreement.
Is the Plea Agreement a Bargain?
It is important to consider whether or not the plea agreement is actually a good deal. In most cases, in the initial round of negotiations, the offer presented is not always a great deal. In some cases, the prosecution may want to gain a conviction without the lengthy trial process, so they offer the bargain in hopes it is accepted. After a few rounds of negotiating, the plea offer presented is much more likely to be beneficial to the defendant.
Is Accepting the Plea in the Best Interest of the Client?
When a person is offered a plea bargain, they may feel as though it is a merciful action. However, this is not something that is done out of kindness. It is just a part of the legal process where each side tries to win. For example, a prosecutor may review the case and feel like they have a low chance of a conviction. As a result, they offer the plea bargain to help and guarantee the guilty plea.
Also Read: 5 Most Common Misdemeanors in Maryland
Consult with an Experienced Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Making the decision to decline or accept a plea bargain can affect a person’s life in profound ways. Make sure to have the advice and services of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Maryland before making a decision. If you need more information, contact us for a free consultation.