Prosecutors want to get a conviction at all costs. This means they aggressively build evidence against you, but it doesn’t mean that they’ll always take a case to trial. In fact, in a lot of cases the prosecutor offers a plea deal in hopes of securing that conviction without having to put in the work and risk associated with a jury trial. Before taking any action on a plea deal, though, there are a few things you need to consider.
Things to analyze prior to acting on a plea deal
Depending on the circumstances of your case, a plea deal may or may not be in your best interests. That’s why you should conduct a thorough analysis before acting one way or the other.
- What’s at stake? You need to know what the potential penalties could be if you’re convicted at trial.
- How lenient is the plea deal? If the plea deal doesn’t really shave off anything from the potential penalties, then you have little to lose by going forward with trial. If the penalties are significantly reduced, though, then you may want to give it more consideration.
- What evidence does the prosecution have? By conducting depositions and engaging in other discovery tactics, you should learn what evidence the prosecution is working with. This will give you an idea of how strong their case may be.
- What are your defense options? Even if the evidence is strong that you committed a criminal act, you might be able to suppress evidence or destroy witness credibility, thereby increasing your chances of acquittal. Therefore, you need a full assessment of your criminal defense options and their likelihood of success.
- How have juries acted in the past? Juries are unpredictable, but you might be able to look at similar case law to see how judges and juries have responded to similar evidence in the past.
- What’s your aversion to risk? Litigation is risky, but it can certainly be worth it. Once fully informed, you need to make the decision that you’re comfortable with in light of the risks at hand.
Don’t approach your case uninformed
To make the right decisions in your case, you need to know the law, how it applies to your case, and how to aggressively argue it in your favor. In other words, you need to be fully informed and know that you’re taking the best course of action for yourself and your future. As daunting as that may sound, you can take comfort in the fact that skilled criminal defense teams like ours stand ready to fight for you.