The Pros and Cons of a Plea Bargain
In the event that you were ever involved in a legal case, you may have been offered a plea bargain. Essentially, if you plead guilty to the crime, then you will receive a lesser penalty than if you plead not guilty and are found guilty. Whether or not to take this action depends upon the specific situation. The pros and cons depend upon the context of the situation.
The Severity of the Punishment
Let’s say that you are being tried with a fairly minor infraction and you are not sure if you will win. For example, perhaps the penalty would be $500 in reparations if you plead guilty and $1000 if you plead not guilty and are found to be guilty. You may just want to consider going to court. On the other hand, if you plead not guilty and are found guilty, you will be sentenced to death, then you likely want to seriously consider what the plea bargain offers.
Receiving a Lesser Punishment
This element is a major reason why some people do choose to take the plea bargain. They see the punishment offered with the plea bargain as the lesser of two evils, and they do not confident that they are going to win the case, so they decide to opt for this route. They might have to pay less money for a fine, spend a fewer amount of years or months in prison and so forth. A significant difference generally exists between the two punishments.
A Level of Unpredictability
A certain level of unpredictability exists when you enter into a plea bargain. While you know what you are pleading to and you know what the penalty is going to be, you also do not know if you would have just been found not-guilty of the offense anyway. In the event that you had been found not-guilty, then you would not have received any punishment at all. As a result, you could be setting yourself up to receive a punishment when one might not even have ever come into fruition in the first place.
Alleviating of Some Anxiety
When you decide to take the plea bargain, you are taking the matter into your hands to an extent. While you are still accepting a punishment that someone else has doled out, you are doing it knowingly. You know what the punishment is going to be, and you have decided that you are going to accept it. Going to trial can be jarring no matter what and no matter what seat you are sitting in. However, instead of wondering if you will be found guilty or not-guilty, you do not have to go through that particular level of anxiety.
Deciding whether or not to take the plea bargain is an individual choice. When you are presented with this decision, you absolutely need to consult with a lawyer. In your conversations, you can determine what the best option is for this particular case and for the situation that you are in.