In Texas, if you are facing criminal charges, you may be given the option of accepting a plea bargain or plea negotiation. Just what is this? Is it worth taking the bargain, or are there perhaps hidden downsides that you may not know about?
FindLaw discusses the benefits of plea bargaining in a straightforward way. Plea bargains can be used in a variety of situations and usually involves you willingly pleading guilty to a crime that is categorically considered “less severe” than the charges you may currently be facing. For example, first degree vehicular assault may be reduced to a lesser degree. This allows you to avoid more serious penalties associated with heftier crimes, though it also comes at the cost of admitting guilt in any capacity.
Perhaps surprisingly, plea bargains aren’t just beneficial for the person facing charges. After all, it wouldn’t be much of a bargain if only one party benefitted. In reality, almost all parties involved benefit from a plea bargain. In many cases, the defense gets information they otherwise would not have access to. The court also benefits as the process will not be drawn out. Prosecutors don’t have to waste time or resources and defense attorneys can save their client from even more severe consequences.
If you are currently facing criminal charges and the option of a plea bargain, you may want to contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options. They can help you figure out if the risks outweigh the rewards or vice versa.