To get through cases faster and deal with criminal charges more expeditiously, a prosecutor may offer plea bargaining as an option. Plea bargaining helps to better manage caseloads and prevents cases from having to go through a court trial. Not only does this help get through cases faster, but it also helps decrease the legal expenses for everyone involved. There are many advantages to entering plea bargaining, but there are also some drawbacks. Here is what you need to know: 

What Are the Pros of Plea Bargaining?

There are several benefits if you opt for a plea bargain. You could receive a lighter sentence than you would if you go through a trial. You could also receive a reduced charge in exchange for entering a plea. In this instance, you would plead guilty to a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Or you could plead to a crime of a lesser degree which may have different penalties that are not as harsh as the original conviction. You may also save money in legal fees since hiring a private attorney to go through a trial with you is substantially more expensive.

Another benefit is once you go through the plea bargain, your case is finished. You also will not have to worry about the uncertainty of going to jail or dealing with other penalties. You will know exactly what is expected.

What Are the Cons of a Plea Bargain?

Before you accept a plea bargain, you should know about the disadvantages of a plea bargain. One thing you need to think about is why is the plea bargain being offered to you. While there are some financial and timing benefits, the reason may not actually be beneficial to you. The prosecutor in your case may be offering the plea bargain because they do not have a strong case against you. For instance, the prosecutor may not have enough actionable evidence against you to convict. If you accept a plea bargain without evidence, you may end up in jail when you could have gone to trial and been found not guilty.

Also, once you plead guilty, you are guilty even if you think you are not. A plea bargain requires you to plead guilty to your charge. You cannot go back later and claim you did not commit the crime, especially when you want to apply for a job.

These are just a few things to think about before you enter a plea bargain. Discuss all of this with an attorney before you move forward to make sure a plea bargain will put you in the best position.

Contact a local criminal law attorney to learn more.