With numerous cases pending in court, most lawmen prefer that the case is settled outside and without reaching trials. All of us have seen the court proceedings in TV serials or movies. The reality is quite different from such dramatic endings of these cases. Judges and prosecutors want that these cases are settled outside the court so that the court’s load and time can be saved to a great extent. If you want to know if it is a good idea to consider a plea bargain, you will have to get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer Knoxville, TN.
Understanding plea bargain
It is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor in which the former pleads guilty of committing the crime in exchange for a sentence or charges being reduced. They may be categorized in three ways as follows:
- Sentence bargain- In this, the accused pleads guilty to the crime for which he has been charged in exchange for the lighter or shorter sentence.
- Charge bargain- This is the common type of plea bargain in which the person pleads guilty to lesser charges and the severe charges are dismissed.
- Fact bargaining – This type of bargaining may not be approved by the judge and is a less common bargain. The accused person stipulates certain facts being admitted to the court in exchange for other evidence not getting considered as evidence.
Pros of a plea bargain
It is important to understand what the prosecutor is offering you. Some of the benefits of this agreement include the following:
- Lighter offense or sentence- The person may get rid of certain serious offenses or the severity of the sentence can be reduced.
- Saves your time and money- A plea agreement can save your valuable time. If you have certain plans for your future, it can surely help you. Likewise, you don’t have to pay attorney’s fees for a long time.
- A certain outcome- If your case reaches the trial, you may not know about the outcome of your case, which is not the case of a plea agreement.
Cons of a plea agreement
- Proving your innocence can be difficult and you will find it hard to accept the plea agreement.
- You may lose certain charges if you are not guilty but agree to accept a plea bargain.
- You will have a criminal record even if you are innocent.