2 Reasons Why You Should Accept A Plea Deal
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, then you will most likely need to go to trial. As the trial dates are arranged and your criminal defense lawyer works on your defense, the prosecutor overseeing your case may agree to offer you a plea deal. If you have been wrongly accused of a crime, then you may feel the need to move along with the trial. However, it may be advantageous to accept the plea deal regardless of your innocence. Keep reading to learn about the ways that a plea deal can benefit you.
1. Get Out of Jail Sooner
If you were convicted of a serious crime, then the judge overseeing your case may have decided to set a relatively high bail amount. On average, bail is set between $1,500 and $50,000 dollars. However, bail can increase to $100,000 or $200,000 if a felony charge is considered serious or violent. In rare cases, bail can be set to $1,000,000,000 if the criminal charge can result in a life sentence after a jury trial.
You have the option of paying the bail amount in full or contacting a bail bondsman to pay the bail for you. You may also use property as collateral for the bail amount, but the value of this property must exceed the amount of bail by as much as 50% or 100%. If you simply cannot pay bail with the various options available to you, then you will not be released from jail.
Unfortunately, it can take up to a year in some cases for a felony trial to begin. This delay is often caused by the case backlog across the justice system. Usually, the trial will conclude within 30 days once the proceedings begin, but you will need to stay in jail for the entire year beforehand if you cannot provide bail. If you are offered a plea deal within the year though, then you will not have to wait in jail any longer. Usually, the judge will dismiss or release you once the plea deal is signed. This can be a great relief if you have no idea when your trial is even going to begin.
2. Lesser Charges on Your Record
In many cases, the prosecutor overseeing your case will allow you to plead guilty to lesser charges than what you were initially charged with. If you are asked to plead guilty to a misdemeanor instead of a felony, then this may be a good option for you. If you are convicted of a felony after a criminal trial, then the offense will stay on your record for the rest of your life.
The felony may restrict your right to vote, and you may not be able to ever run for public office. It is possible that you may not be able to work for the government in any capacity either. This means that you cannot apply for a job with the post office, census bureau, police department, USDA, education department, energy department, or even your local town clerk's office. These are only a few examples of the many places you cannot work. Private companies also may not hire felons.
If you accept the plea deal and plead guilty to one or several misdemeanors, you may need to pay a fine, spend a short time in jail, or complete community service. You may not be able to own a gun if drugs were involved with the crime, but you are not nearly as limited in the types of jobs you can apply for. Also, misdemeanors are much easier to expunge from your record, and this means that the crime may not affect you for the rest of your life. The type of crime, the state where the crime took place, and the length of time since the misdemeanor offense are all taken into consideration. Usually, if the misdemeanor is expunged from your record, this will occur at least five years after probation and community service have been completed.
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