It goes without saying that you never want to find yourself in trouble with the law. However, should that happen, it’s critical that you have a clear understanding of the legal system and the options available to you. Early in the criminal court process, your attorney may discuss the option of a plea bargain with you. It’s not something you have to accept, but it may be in your best interest. Our Denver criminal defense lawyer explains how a plea bargain works, along with the pros and cons of accepting a plea bargain in Colorado.
Here’s how a plea bargain is defined by the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute:
“Plea bargains are agreements between defendants and prosecutors in which defendants agree to plead guilty to some or all of the charges against them in exchange for concessions from the prosecutors.”
A plea bargain offers benefits to both the defendant and the prosecution.
From your perspective as a defendant, you plead guilty to some or all of the charges in exchange for lesser consequences. This is often better than the alternative of going to trial with hopes that you avoid punishment completely.
Conversely, prosecutors are able to move on from your case, thus allowing them to focus resources on other cases, while also reducing the workload on trial judges.
As long as the plea bargain is fair, it’s a win-win for both parties. Your Denver criminal defense lawyer can help you determine if you have a fair plea bargain on the table or if you need to negotiate for a better deal.
This varies from one case to the next, but here’s an example of how a plea bargain is made:
Your defense attorney can negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf with the idea of minimizing the impact that a serious criminal conviction can have on your life. You’re under no obligation to accept the first offer from the prosecution so if you’re unsure of the deal, speak with an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney.
There are three distinct types of plea bargains that you may encounter in a Colorado criminal case:
The simple answer is yes, but there’s more to it than that. Negotiating a plea bargain is challenging on many fronts, especially if you attempt to do so on your own.
If you have plans to consider a plea bargain, here’s what you should do:
As you consider whether to accept a plea bargain, keep in mind that there are both pros and cons to accepting one. Let’s start with the benefits:
Now, here are some of the primary disadvantages:
There’s much to consider before accepting or rejecting a plea bargain but don’t try to decide on your own. An experienced Denver criminal defense attorney can explain what option makes the most sense for your situation. At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC we have the experience and knowledge you need to help you decide if a plea bargain is in your best interest. Contact us online or give us a call today to schedule a consultation and discuss your options.