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Why you should not rush into accepting a plea bargain

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Facing any kind of criminal charges can be stressful and worrisome, given what is at stake. The fear of losing one’s freedom for a long time is perhaps why many defendants rush into agreeing to plea deals without knowing the consequences.

Therefore, it helps to understand how plea bargains work before deciding whether to accept such a deal. Below are some of the things you need to know:

You waive some of your constitutional rights with a plea deal

You have a right to a jury trial, a right to confront witnesses and a right against self-incrimination. However, accepting a plea deal means giving up these and other crucial constitutional rights you would have otherwise exercised.

You will bear the consequences of a guilty plea

Pleading guilty translates to breaking the law. As such, you will have to face legal penalties for the offenses you have admitted to committing. Depending on the nature of the crime, it could result in jail time, fines and a criminal record, among other legal sanctions. You could also faced enhanced penalties in the future due to your criminal record if you ever re-offend.

It may not be the best deal or even a fair one

You could be blinded by desperation or the fear of going to jail and a plea deal may seem like the easy way out. However, a plea bargain is not always in your best interests. For instance, you may stand a better chance if your case goes to trial. No criminal case is infallible if you have an informed and experienced defense counsel, and you can be found innocent if you are tried.

The bottom line is that you should not make rash decisions that may affect you years ahead. Learning more about your rights and the legal options available when offered a plea deal will help protect your interests.