If you have been accused of driving under the influence or committing a drug crime and you are a first-time offender, chances are that you might be offered the opportunity to accept a plea deal. Plea bargaining is essentially a legal compromise in which the defendant is admitting guilt and accepting a less harsh penalty for their actions.
Although plea deals are extremely common for crimes like DUI, it’s important that defendants know that they are not required to accept a plea deal. A plea deal may result in a defendant not having to serve any jail time, but the blemish on their record could cost them an employment opportunity among other negative ramifications. In this brief article, criminal defense attorneys in Tampa with the The Rickman Law Firm will discuss three different topics related to plea deals.
As we stated above, plea deals are essentially a compromise within the legal system. They’re often utilized by the prosecution as a time-saving mechanism on a case they would prefer not to spend time on. If you are considering accepting a plea deal, you have to keep an open mind. You should never walk into plea discussions unless you’re willing to compromise. Remember, accepting a plea deal means admitting guilt to a crime, so you’re not exactly in a position to expect to get everything you want out of the negotiations.
In some cases, if the prosecution is in a bind to prove that the defendant was guilty, they may offer a plea deal. For example, in DUI cases, it’s not uncommon that the arresting officer cannot make a court appearance. Whether the prosecution’s case is full of holes or lacks evidence, it may be best to fight the charges with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Tampa.
Just like how you should never represent yourself in a trial, you should never represent yourself during a plea deal negotiation. First, your attorney is familiar with case law regarding the case, so they will truly know what a fair deal is. Second, an attorney is experienced in the plea deal process and can walk you through each step. Lastly, an experienced attorney will also know when a plea deal isn’t fair, and they will be prepared to provide a strong defense strategy for your case if it goes to trial.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.