Elements of a Good Plea Bargain
There is often a lot of concern about what makes for a bad plea deal, but not so much attention on what makes a good one. Knowing what a good deal contains can make it much easier for you to make the decision about accepting any deal the prosecution may offer you. Furthermore, having this knowledge gives you a chance to assist with negotiations and to understand what you should expect in a final deal.
What makes a ‘good’ plea deal?
According to Congress.gov, a plea bargain should offer you either the option of a lesser charge or a lighter sentence. If your deal lacks one of these elements, then it is not an adequate deal. Ideally, you want to see a deal that provides you with something that is not likely to come from a court at trial. For example, if the court is highly likely to sentence you to life in prison, but the plea bargain offers you 25 years, then the plea bargain may be worth taking.
Your plea bargain should not come with coercion as part of the process. The prosecutor cannot threaten you with harsher charges or penalties if you do not accept the deal. In addition, you should be able to make the decision freely and on your own without anyone pressing you to take it. So, one important element of a plea bargain is that it offers you the chance to consider it without any outside influence.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that when you accept a plea bargain, you admit your guilt. If you firmly stand behind the fact that you did not commit the crime, then you should think carefully about accepting a plea bargain. No plea bargain will extend an offer where you do not admit guilt.
Ultimately, the decision is yours and yours alone to make. Nobody can force you into taking a deal, so you must make sure it is the right thing for you to do.