Before you decide whether to plea bargain or go to court, it’s important to think about how the outcome will affect you and your future.
A plea bargain might seem appealing because it’s quicker and cheaper than going to court, but once you’re convicted, a plea bargain will come back to haunt you.
On the other hand, going to court means taking your chances with a jury, but in the event that you win, your case could be dismissed entirely or you could get off with little or no punishment at all.
1) The charges against you
You are charged with a crime, and you have the option of going to court and fighting your charges, or pleading guilty in exchange for a lesser punishment.
Plea bargaining is an arrangement between apn accused person and the prosecutor in which the person agrees to plead guilty in exchange for having the charges reduced.
If you choose not to plea bargain, then you will have your day in court.
The first thing you should consider is how strong your case looks from both sides.
From one side, while the prosecution may be able to present more evidence that they can use against you.
For example, if they found drugs on you at the time of arrest, this would greatly strengthen their case against you.
2) The strength of the evidence
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the strength of the evidence and are not sure if it will be worth your time and money to go trial, then you may want to consider plea bargaining.
A plea bargain is when you plead guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence. It’s also called taking a deal.
Sometimes prosecutors will offer you a better deal than what they originally said they would.
For example, they might say they’ll reduce your jail time from 20 years to 3 years instead of going through with a long court trial.
your time and money, then you may want to consider a plea bargain. If you don’t think pleading guilty will work out for you, then a court trial might be best.
3) Your criminal history
The first thing you should consider is your criminal history. If you have a prior criminal record, it will be more difficult for you to plea bargain and get a lesser sentence than if you had no prior record.
If this is the case, then going to court may be your best option because the judge may not want the defendant with a prior criminal record walking out on probation.
On the other hand, if you do not have a criminal history then pleading guilty can mean less jail time as opposed to trial where there are no guarantees that the jury will find you innocent.
4) The severity of the potential sentence
If the potential sentence is less than a year in jail, then it might be better for you to take the plea bargain.
If the potential sentence is greater than a year in jail, then it might be better for you to go with a court trial.
There are many factors that go into this decision and there are no right answers. It all depends on what you are comfortable with and what type of person you are.
5) The likelihood of being found guilty
A plea bargain is a lot more likely to result in a conviction than going through the court trial process. If you are confident in your innocence, it might be worth taking the chance and going for a court trial.
However, if you’re not so sure of yourself, pleading guilty may be the better option. The judge may still be lenient on sentencing, depending on how much evidence there is against you.
It would also save you from a long trial with the possibility that you could end up with an even harsher sentence at the end.
1) The cost of a trial
One of the first considerations that you should make when determining whether to plead guilty is the cost of a trial.
The costs of a trial can include things such as court fees, attorney fees, and fines. In addition, if you are not able to come up with enough money for bail, you may be kept in jail until your trial is over.
Another consideration to make when deciding whether to plea bargain is how much time has passed since the crime was committed.
If it’s been less than two years since the incident occurred, then you will have difficulty getting a conviction thrown out because it would violate double jeopardy laws.
If there has been more than five years, however, then double jeopardy laws do not apply and there would be no issue pleading guilty.
2) The time commitment of a trial
If you go to trial, you will have to devote a lot of time and energy. You’ll spend days in court, waiting for your turn to testify.
If the case goes on long enough, you may be away from work for weeks at a time. It can also be a major financial burden: if you don’t have legal representation, it will cost money in the form of court fees and other related expenses.
There is no guarantee that going to trial will result in a more lenient sentence than what you would get by accepting the plea bargain.
Sometimes judges refuse pleas because they want to set an example or show the community that crime does not pay.
In some cases, defendants who plead guilty are given lower sentences because they admit their guilt instead of forcing the victim to relive their experience through cross-examination
3) The stress of a trial
Going to court can be a very stressful and emotional experience. It is difficult enough to deal with the emotional trauma
of the event itself, but now you also have the added stress of worrying about how your trial will go.
Furthermore, in some cases it may not matter whether or not you are found guilty as the consequences can be just as dire.
In other words: if the perpetrator wants to harass you for many years after then it does not matter if they are found guilty or not because their revenge could last for that same duration.