Being involved in any criminal prosecution is scary. It’s important to make smart decisions because the consequences can be far reaching and hard to overcome. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney that will have only your best interests and can advise you as to whether you should take a plea bargain if you are given the option, or not.
A plea bargain is an encouragement that is given by the prosecution to the defendant to plead guilty. This option should only be undertaken in circumstances where the evidence is unfavorable against the defendant and once the criminal defense attorney believes that this is the best option.
There are two general types of plea bargains in Ohio. The charge plea bargain allows the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge or only a portion of the charges. The sentence bargain occurs when the defendant pleads guilty to the charges and the prosecutor agrees to a specific sentence, which should be approved by the judge. Although most judges will approve the sentence, there is no law that mandates the judge to abide by the terms of the plea bargain.
Additionally, it is important to remember that a plea bargain is a contractual agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant. If either party fails to uphold their end of the agreement, consequences will follow. If the defendant in any way fails to comply, the prosecutor may revoke the agreement and re-file charges. If the prosecutor breaches the agreement, the defendant may either seek to have the guilty plea set aside or the defendant’s attorney may request a court order compelling the prosecutor’s compliance.
Plea bargains are occasionally the best choice available in certain circumstances. It is a quick way to end the criminal process and stay out of jail and usually will mean you forfeit your right to appeal many of the issues that might exist in your case. A plea bargain might truly be in your best interest, but if you plead guilty or no contest to a charge, you waive the right to a trial and if you are sentenced unfairly, you might not even have the right to appeal the sentence.
The Bottom Line: You want to be sure to analyze whether the offer you have been given is really in your best interest. The best criminal defense attorney will investigate all the evidence against you and determine whether there may be ways to dispute the charges against you. Occasionally, plea bargains are offered because the evidence against you is insubstantial and the prosecutor believes they might lose at trial. Call me. 513.260.2099