Facing criminal charges is one of the scariest situations you could ever experience. It can turn your life upside down in many ways. However, instead of going to trial, you might want to consider taking a plea deal. There are seven benefits to going that route.
1- Avoids Potential Incarceration
One of the main reasons to agree to a plea deal is to avoid being incarcerated. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might be ordered to perform community service or serve probation instead. This allows you to be free to live at home with your loved ones instead of having to deal with jail or prison time.
2- Clears Uncertainty
There is a lot of uncertainty associated with going to trial. You never know how the proceedings will go until they actually occur, so it puts you at a disadvantage. Not knowing what to expect causes anxiety about your future. Taking a plea deal clears away that uncertainty so that you can have a bit of control over your situation.
3- Charges are Reduced
Typically, when a defendant accepts a plea deal, it means the severity of the charges they face is reduced. Getting criminal charges reduced offers the benefit of lesser impact on the future; the person’s future, in general, and future convictions in the event that they are a repeat offender. Plea bargains allow a person to escape more serious charges that could affect their ability to find a new job, secure housing, or even vote. For example, if the original charge amounts to a felony, a plea deal may get it down to a misdemeanor.
4- Reduced Sentencing
In some cases, when a plea deal is reached between the defendant and the prosecution, the end result is not lesser charges but a lighter sentence. This means that the defendant serves less time than the maximum allowed for whatever criminal charges they face. Depending on the nature of the crime, many people who get arrested fear that they will spend many years in prison, resulting in their lives going to a standstill. Taking a plea deal that gives them a lesser sentence blunts that to a certain extent.
5- More Quickly Resolves the Problem
Some cases are complex and have an air of uncertainty and mystery to them. In that situation, it can result in a long, drawn-out trial. Accepting a plea deal can eliminate that issue for a defendant because it allows the situation to be more quickly resolved so that they can move on with their lives faster. It also benefits all the legal professionals involved in the case. Instead of continuing to focus on that particular case, they, too, can move on and concentrate on the next legal matter.
6- Avoids Crimes with Stigma
Certain crimes carry a stigma that can negatively impact a person’s life even long after they’ve served their time in prison. Notable examples of such offenses include rape, aggravated burglary, and murder. Accepting a plea deal can reduce the stigma on a defendant by giving them an opportunity to avoid having to face being charged with such stigmatizing crimes.
7- Less Publicity
Even if you are not a celebrity, criminal trials are public. Anyone can enter the courtroom to watch the proceedings. When you take a plea deal, you don’t have to worry about anyone knowing your business as your case remains private.