When a Staten Island lawyer takes on a criminal case, their first thought may be to try and get a plea deal. Just as most civil cases end with a negotiated settlement, many criminal cases end with a plea bargain that means the case does not go to court. Plea bargains are used in all types of cases from the most high profile felony, to a simple lower class felony that might involve only a small amount of jail time.
There Is Only A Bargain When The Prosecutor Has Something To Gain
Thanks to Hollywood movies, a common misconception about plea bargains is that they only happen when the prosecution wants to benefit from the help of the defendant. For example, the prosecution would offer a plea bargain to a street level drug dealer to try and get closer to the main suppliers and bosses.
While this cliche does play out many times, it is not the only reason for a plea bargain. The prosecutor and defendant both have reasons to want to consider a plea bargain, and those reasons may not have anything to do with what one party can get from the other.
The Prosecutor’s Motivation
The court system is constantly bogged down with cases in litigation and scheduling new cases can often take months. If a prosecutor feels that a case can be easily solved with a plea bargain down to a lesser charge, then they will sometimes make that offer to get a conviction without wasting court time.
Prosecutors pay attention to public opinion, and that can sometimes play a role in offering a plea bargain as well. If the prosecutor feels that a trial could result in a not guilty verdict, then the prosecutor might offer a plea bargain to avoid going to trial.
The Motivation Of The Defendant
The motivation of the defendant to accept a plea bargain can often be more obvious. If the defendant feels they are headed towards being convicted of a serious felony, then they may accept a plea bargain to avoid the long-lasting effects of felony convictions. Life after serving a felony prison sentence can be difficult, especially when it comes to finding work. A plea bargain can often soften the blow and make life a little easier.
If your Staten Island lawyer tells you that you are more than likely facing conviction on one of several charges against you, then a plea bargain can be a way to get the process over quickly and possibly avoid jail time completely. If you feel like you are going to be convicted anyways, then taking the lesser plea bargain makes sense.
The kind of criminal defense attorney Staten Island people count on knows how to handle a plea bargain situation. If you are facing criminal charges, then it is a smart move to get an experienced attorney and then try to use a plea bargain to lower your sentence.