Plea bargains are a common feature in many criminal defense cases in California. These deals require you to work with the prosecutor and to agree to your guilt in exchange for less severe charges. You could possibly be offered a plea bargain in any case. In fact, up to 90% of criminal cases are resolved with these deals.
However, accepting a plea bargain may not be in your best interest. These agreements make it easier for prosecutors to get convictions and can still end with you spending serious time in jail or paying hefty fines. You can get help exploring all your options before you take a plea bargain by working with a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer.
What Kind of Criminal Defense Cases Allow You to Use a Plea Bargain?
California allows plea bargains for all criminal cases, from vandalism to murder. The state did attempt to ban plea bargaining for some serious crimes, including some felonies and sex crimes, but there are multiple exceptions to this ruling, and it does not apply throughout the entirety of the court process. This means that any case could potentially be ended in a plea bargain.
How Do Plea Bargains Work in California?
Plea bargains are deals set up between the prosecution and the defense in a criminal case. They can be offered for many charges, including:
These agreements keep criminal cases from going to court. They require you to say that you are guilty. You are then given a lesser penalty for the crime you were charged with. You might be offered less time in jail or prison if you accept a plea bargain. Some prosecutors will even offer to drop some of your charges if you agree to this kind of deal.
Are Plea Bargains Worth It in Criminal Cases?
If you take a plea bargain, you will not have to go to trial to be judged by a jury, which could end up charging you very severely. In certain cases, plea bargains offer other notable benefits. For example, you could:
- Save money and time.
- Protect yourself from harsher penalties.
- Avoid negative publicity.
However, a plea bargain also requires you to plead guilty and to accept a punishment of some kind. This means giving up any chance that you might be found innocent for the crime you were charged with. You might also face a prosecutor who resists giving you a fair deal.
Additionally, California allows judges to have the final decision about whether or not a plea bargain is acceptable. This means that even if you and the prosecutor come to an agreement, the judge could throw out your deal.
Working with an experienced criminal lawyer in Los Angeles can help you decide if you should accept a plea bargain or not. A skilled attorney may be able to reduce the odds that you’ll be taken advantage of or that your bargain will be thrown out in court.
How Do You Know If You Should Take A Plea Bargain?
Prosecutors can make plea bargains seem like your safest option to deal with a criminal charge, but this is not always the case. You must plead guilty to accept a plea bargain, even if you are innocent, and the charge will still appear on your permanent record.
You could also be offered a bargain that is unfair by a skilled prosecutor who knows how to manipulate California’s legal system. Making sure that you get the best deal possible can be a daunting process at the best of times.
Your unique situation will determine if a plea bargain is right for you. You don’t have to face the prosecution alone. Get help assessing your plea bargain and deciding if you should take it or not by working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in LA.
Where Can You Find Help Handling A Plea Bargain in Los Angeles?
The Simmrin Law Group is a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense law firm noted for years of courtroom success. We can help you decide whether or not a plea bargain is right for your case. Our attorneys have experience fighting prosecutors for fair plea bargains and ensuring that our clients get a deal that works for them. You can contact us at any time to get a FREE consultation about your situation. Get started right away by calling us at (310) 997-4688 or filling out the form on the right.