In cases when federal or state prosecutors can obtain a reasonable and speedy resolution while still holding a defendant accountable, a plea agreement will be offered. Other factors that determine if a plea agreement is offered include the charges in the case, the defendant’s criminal record and the odds of a conviction at trial.
While attorneys believe that plea bargains play a significant role in the justice system, victims and their families don’t always feel the same way. The son of a man who was killed in a car accident in 2013 says that the man who caused the accident got a slap on the wrist after agreeing to a plea deal. The man who caused that crash got a sentence of 24 months in July 2015 for vehicular homicide.
Although a prosecutor can offer a deal, the defendant doesn’t have to accept it. Therefore, it is the job of the defense attorney to fully discuss all the options that his or her client may have. An attorney may pitch a plea deal as a way to limit the long-term damage that a conviction could cause. Instead of leaving the decision to a jury, it may be more beneficial to control the outcome of a case.
Those who are charged with a crime may wish to talk to an attorney who handles criminal law cases. It may be possible for legal counsel to create a defense that could cast doubt on the charges against an individual. This could lead to an acquittal or a plea bargain. A plea bargain could allow an individual to avoid some or all penalties such as jail or prison time.