Reasons to refuse a plea bargain

On Behalf of Longman Jakuback

At some point when you face criminal charges, the prosecution may approach your attorney with an offer for a plea deal. Your attorney has a legal obligation to bring that offer to you for consideration. Before you decide whether to accept the deal, there are important things to consider.

In many cases, it may be better to refuse a plea offer.

A plea requires an admission of guilt

Perhaps the biggest reason to consider refusal of a plea offer is because acceptance requires you to admit guilt. You have a chance at acquittal if you go to trial, potentially protecting you from a criminal record.

The judge can alter the terms at sentencing

Many people believe that accepting a plea bargain guarantees those terms. The terms of the plea depend upon the prosecution’s offer, but that does not guarantee your outcome. The judge could alter the terms of the agreement and sentence you to jail time once you enter your plea.

The prosecution may have a weak case

If the case built by the prosecution has obvious weak points or your attorney believes that they can easily combat it, refuse a plea bargain and take your chances in court.

A technicality could lead to a dismissal

Sometimes a mistake on the part of law enforcement or the district attorney creates a vulnerability in the case. When that happens, your attorney may get the charges dismissed. Pursue any possibility of dismissal before entertaining a plea offer.

Plea deals can help with some cases, but it is often best to refuse a plea when you have other alternatives.

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