Why You May Want To Accept A Plea Bargain Even If You Are Innocent

Posted on: 22 January 2015

If all the evidence is against you and the court offers a plea bargain, should you take it even if you are innocent? This is always a big decision to make, especially for a person that knows he or she did not commit the crime in question. As you contemplate this offer, here are two things to think about and to discuss with a criminal defense attorney, such as Scott L. Kramer Law Office.

What Is The Alternative?

Criminal cases are typically settled in court and the verdicts are left in the hands of juries. The role of a jury is to determine if the defendant is innocent or guilty based on the information presented during the trial. Juries are not allowed to have guilty verdicts unless they are certain beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime.

When a jury handles your case, you are not in control of what they decide, nor are you in control of the information they hear. If every piece of evidence points to you, there is a good chance you will be convicted.

Choosing a plea bargain allows you a way out of a jury trial. The trial will not go to court and there will be no jury. You will agree to a guilty plea in exchange for a lighter sentence or punishment. Courts do this to:

  • Solve crimes
  • Save money on court costs
  • Save time
  • Award criminals for admitting guilt

Your lawyer will have a good idea as to what verdict a jury might have based strictly on the evidence and witnesses. You should discuss this with your attorney before you make the decision to do this or not.

How Will You Benefit?

One of the main reasons criminals accept plea bargains even when they are guilty is because they end up with lighter sentences. Courts will often reduce the charges of crimes, too, when defendants agree to accept plea bargains.

If the crime you committed normally results in a 20-year prison sentence, accepting a plea bargain might offer a 5-year prison sentence instead. Unless you are certain that you will win the case through a jury trial, accepting a plea bargain is usually what criminal attorneys will recommend.

If you were arrested and charged with a crime, make sure you hire a reputable criminal defense attorney. Experienced attorneys can often give the best advice, and you may find that accepting a plea bargain was the best advice your attorney could have given you.