When it comes to a plea bargain, the first thing you should always keep in mind is that it is optional. You never have to take one, and no one can do anything to force you into accepting a deal. With that in mind, there are some situations in which taking the plea bargain is the most favorable option.
A plea bargain is something the prosecutor has the option to extend to you. It is not a requirement of the criminal process. According to the United States Department of Justice, prosecutors will often offer a deal when they feel that they have a very strong case and will win in court. A plea bargain will offer you one of two things:
- A better sentence
One sign that a deal is a good one is if it offers you a lighter sentence than the court is likely to give you. You will, of course, need to discuss this with your attorney to get an idea of what you face should you go to trial. If the plea bargain offers you a chance to avoid a lengthy prison sentence, then it may very well be a good sign that it is worth taking.
- Lesser charges
If the plea deal lowers your charges or reduces the number of charges against you, then this is quite beneficial. Not only will you then not face those charges on your record, but you will also have the chance at a lesser sentence. If you go to court, you will face all the charges as they exist in the indictment, so an offering to change the charges is something only a deal can offer.
The bottom line is that accepting the deal is your choice. Even if others tell you that this is the most favorable option, you get to make the final decision. Use your judgment to come to the right conclusion for you and your situation.