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What is a plea deal in a criminal defense case?

On Behalf of | Jul 19, 2021 | Criminal Law

Criminal charges are serious. They can alter the course of an individual’s life, and if the individual is convicted, they may lose freedoms they otherwise enjoyed. When a Mobile resident is charged with a crime, they can choose to fight and protect their rights with the help of dedicated criminal defense attorneys.

In some cases, individuals facing criminal charges may contemplate accepting plea deals from the prosecutors in their cases. This post will examine what a plea deal is and what parts of a criminal case can be negotiated. Readers should not interpret this post as legal advice and when it comes to considering plea deals, all criminal defendants should speak with their trusted attorneys about their best options.

The purpose of a plea deal

Plea deals can take on different forms. Generally, though, a plea deal improves the legal outcome for a criminal defendant in exchange for their acquiescence to particular facts or charges brought against them by prosecutors. For example, a person may be initially charged with a serious drug crime. They may work through plea negotiations down to a lesser charge if they agree to plead guilty to it. When a person accepts a plea deal, they may avoid having to go to court on their criminal charges.

Ways to negotiate plea deals

Whether a prosecutor is willing to negotiate a plea deal with a criminal defendant will depend on an individual case. However, there are several categories of negotiation where prosecutors and defendants can sometimes workout plea deals. They are:

  • Charges: As mentioned above, a plea deal may involve a defendant pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a prosecutor dropping a more serious charge.
  • Facts: A defendant may admit certain facts about their involvement in a crime in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to leave out other facts during their case.
  • Sentences: A defendant may agree to plead guilty to a charge if they are able to secure a lesser penalty from their prosecutor.

Not every criminal case will involve a plea deal. Some individuals may choose to fight their charges head on and present their own defense strategies to overcome the cases brought against them. It is up to an individual to understand their rights and know what they can accomplish through the courts before they make decisions about their legal futures. With the help of trusted criminal defense lawyers, individuals can make informed decisions about whether plea deals or other defense strategies can serve their needs during their criminal trials.