Top Reasons You Should Take a Plea Deal

Top Reasons You Should Take a Plea DealThanks to popular television shows, many people have a general idea of what a plea bargain is. At the most basic level, a plea bargain is a negotiated deal with the prosecutor’s office that can change the charge against a defendant or the sentence a defendant must serve.

A plea deal can also include restitution to the victims of the crime. This means the defendant must financially compensate the victim. In Texas, there are four types of plea deals that your criminal defense attorney may potentially negotiate. If you have pressing questions about your case, we’re here to help. Reach out to Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter today.

Types of Plea Bargains

  • Sentence Deal: A criminal defense attorney may negotiate a deal with the prosecutor in which the prosecutor recommends the defendant gets a lighter sentence.
  • Count Deal: If the defendant is facing several charges, the prosecutor may offer the defendant the option to plead guilty to one or more of the charges. In exchange for this, the prosecutor will drop the remaining charges.
  • Charge Deal: A criminal defense attorney may negotiate a bargain with the prosecutor in which the defendant is charged with a lesser crime.
  • Fact Deal: In this bargain, the prosecutor omits one or more specific facts in the case that would likely carry a more severe sentence from the judge. In exchange for essentially reducing the sentence, the defendant pleads guilty to the charges. Contact us today.

There Can Be Problems with Plea Bargains

There are several ways that plea bargains can create problems for a defendant. It’s crucial that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney working alongside you to protect your rights and reduce the potential risk that you’ll accept a poor deal.

Although you may feel capable of negotiating a plea deal with the prosecutor, there are ways that you could be pressured into taking a bad deal. Prosecutors recognize that they have the upper hand in criminal cases where the defendant is representing themself or they have an inexperienced or overworked attorney.

In the interest of time and money, a prosecutor may be willing to negotiate a plea in order to avoid going to trial. Prosecutors and judges often have full calendars, and a plea deal will quickly clear a case.

However, they may also use coercion to pressure the defendant. For example, they can use pretrial detention to separate the defendant from their support system. This means the defendant is unable to see friends and family until their case comes to trial.

If the discovery rules are not strictly regulated, the prosecutor may hide evidence during negotiation that would favor the defendant. The charges the defendant faces may come with mandatory minimum sentencing. Prosecutors may use a “carrot and stick” approach to pressure the defendant into taking a deal.

In other words, they offer a bad deal while stressing that the defendant could face many years in prison. Unfortunately, it is often the power dynamic between the criminal defense attorney and the prosecutor that creates leverage to define a plea bargain. This is why it is essential you have an experienced attorney on your side.

Reasons You Should Consider a Plea Bargain

Top Reasons You Should Take a Plea DealIt is important to remember that a plea deal is not offered to a defendant in order to help them out. Prosecutors want a conviction and to close the case as quickly as possible. Your experienced criminal defense attorney can evaluate the terms of the plea bargain and advise you whether it is the best option for your case.

Generally, a deal with the prosecution includes the requirement that the defendant pleads guilty. Once a guilty plea has been entered, it is usually too late to change your mind. There are several things that you’ll want to consider before you agree to a plea deal.

Depending on the charge, a trial can be long and costly. In addition to attorney fees, you will also have court costs if you are found guilty. You must balance the financial savings against the potential sentence your attorney negotiates in a plea bargain.

By accepting a plea deal, you will likely have a lower sentence. If you are convicted at trial, the crime may come with a mandatory sentence and fine. A plea deal may reduce the charges and often lessens the sentence but requires that you plead guilty. Your Texas criminal defense attorney may also negotiate a deal in which you have no jail or prison term but only probation in exchange for pleading guilty.

And finally, another reason for considering a plea bargain is that the reduced charge may be more socially acceptable. For example, in exchange for pleading guilty, the prosecutor may reduce a sexual assault and battery charge to assault and battery. Contact us today.

Contact Us Today for Your Free Case Evaluation

If you were arrested, charged, or know you are under investigation for a criminal act, contact the Dallas criminal defense lawyers of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter today. The sooner our legal team and investigators can begin working on your case, the greater the potential we can gather strong evidence to negotiate a reduced charge or even a dismissal. Call our office today at (214) 845-7007, or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.

Top Rated Lawyer - Rating 10.0
Top 10 Dallas (BEST D)
Dallas Bar Association
Texas Criminal Lawyers Association
Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
Super-Lawyers Logo
American Association for Justice
The National Trial Lawyers - Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Free Case Evaluation