If you are charged with a crime, you will face a number of choices. You may have the opportunity to enter a plea bargain. In general terms, this refers to some sort of a compromise between the prosecution and the defense where the accused person pleads guilty to a lesser charge in return for lenient sentencing.
A plea bargain saves the court time and expenses. And to the defendant, a plea bargain offers several benefits, with the most obvious one being a reduced sentence. However, like many decisions in life, a plea bargain comes with its share of shortcomings for the accused person.
Here are two drawbacks you need to be aware of when entering a plea bargain.
You could plead guilty unnecessarily
The prosecution is on a mission to win as many cases as they can during their career. And sometimes, they may resort to unfair means to achieve this goal. It is not uncommon for the prosecution to offer a plea deal when they have a problem with the case, such as inadequacy of evidence or lack of credible witnesses. By offering a plea deal, the prosecution will be asking you to plead guilty to an accusation that you might otherwise fight and win.
You could close the door to a possible dismissal or not guilty verdict
In accepting a plea deal, you will most likely be pleading guilty to some sort of crime. Sometimes, you will be doing this because you are actually guilty and are hoping for a reduced sentence. But at other times, you will be accepting a plea deal because you are afraid the court will find you guilty and impose a harsher punishment. The bottom line is that by accepting a plea deal, you will be giving up on the possibility of hearing the words “not guilty.”
If you are accused of a crime, you need to explore your legal options so you safeguard your rights and interests.