When to Accept a Plea Bargain
Being arrested can be an emotionally and physically stressful experience for anyone. The moment of your arrest will seem like a blur, and before you know it, you’re being walked into the jail by a law enforcement officer.
Under this kind of stress, it’s possible that you won’t be thinking clearly, and you may be tempted to take the first plea offered by the state prosecutor at your first hearing. It is unwise to accept any plea bargain without first consulting with a Miami criminal attorney about your case and the charges against you.
Failing to retain legal counsel after your arrest could change the course of your life. Before you accept any plea arrangement, run through this checklist.
1. Have you Consulted Your Criminal Attorney?
Speaking to a qualified and competent criminal lawyer in Miami is the first step in ensuring a favorable outcome for your case. Attorneys are familiar with the legal process and can represent you on your behalf in any negotiations with prosecuting authorities.
You may have some understanding of the legal process, but your attorney will know exactly which course of action to take, which paperwork to file, and which people to consult around the police station and the courthouse. Attorneys spend years developing relationships and contacts in the law enforcement community and the prosecutor’s office. Take advantage of their experience and industry knowledge before you enter into any plea agreement.
2. Is There Any Room to Bargain with the Plea Deal?
State prosecutors are not the only government employees guilty of pushing along cases to reduce their workloads and improve their quotas. State appointed public defenders experience the same working environment and need to clear their incoming cases as quickly as possible.
This situation results in state prosecutors working with state public defenders against you to achieve what benefits their careers, not your freedom. This disturbing fact is why it is beneficial to have a private criminal attorney present during all plea negotiations.
State prosecutors may rely on fear and intimidation tactics to pressure you into signing a plea deal prematurely. Always wait for your legal counsel before opening negotiations.
3. Does the Plea Offer Consider My Best Interests?
A Miami criminal defense attorney will analyze the deal for you with your best interests in mind. If the prosecution has made any underhanded attempts to add legal speak or subjective terms to the plea, your attorney will discover them.
The prosecution does not have your best interests in mind. State prosecutors are employees of the government, and they have a job to do. The success of their job and their potential for career advancement comes from the number of cases they successfully prosecute. Some prosecutors will be quick to put the maximum penalty in your plea deal in the hope of you accepting the deal without argument.
An attorney fights for your rights and ensures that you get the best deal from the prosecution. Remove the uncertainty and doubt from your plea bargain and hire a criminal defense attorney to assist you with understanding the process and terms involved in any plea deal.
The results of a criminal conviction can change the course of your life. A conviction will affect future employment opportunities and your ability to attain credit, as well as limit your freedom through incarceration and probation. Accepting a plea bargain can also forfeit your right to appeal issues with your case.
The sentencing judge makes the final decision on penalties and jail sentences, and they have the right to ignore the prosecutor’s recommendations if your lawyer presents a compelling case. Entering into a plea agreement means a jury will not have the opportunity to hear any evidence your lawyer could bring to trial, and you may not be allowed to appeal the judge’s sentence if it moves against your favor.
Don’t delay in hiring the top Miami criminal defense lawyer directly after your arrest. Your attorney can arrange to meet you at the police station with the necessary bail bond ready for payment. This service from your lawyer ensures speedy processing, booking and an early release.
Your attorney will work with you to build your case and uncover any evidence of witness testimony that could be instrumental in gaining the favor of prosecuting authorities or the judge. If you go to trial, an attorney provides you with invaluable representation that ensures the best possible outcome.
The money spent on an excellent attorney could mean the difference between enjoying your freedom and going to prison. Make the right choice for your future.
Stroleny Law, P.A handles a variety of criminal law cases, so call now if you have any questions.
View more contact information here: Miami Criminal Attorney.