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What to know about a plea deal

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2023 | Criminal Defense

If you face criminal charges in Indiana, you may have many questions about how the justice system works. One area of confusion involves the offering and the acceptance of plea deals during the legal process.

Many cases in Indiana and throughout the nation never make it to trial as defendants accept a plea deal. Whether or not a plea deal makes sense for you depends upon many factors.

The pros of considering a plea deal

The St. Francis School of Law describes a plea deal as an agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant in which the defendant pleads guilty to a crime. One benefit of a plea deal comes from the ability to limit the legal costs of a trial. In some cases, the defendant might serve a reduced sentence due to the agreement.

Plea deals also take some of the uncertainty out of the legal process and they also often shorten the time necessary to reach closure. This allows you to go back to your life more quickly and without the worry of a looming court case that has an unpredictable resolution. You can also avoid the publicity of a public trial.

The possible negatives of a plea deal

By accepting a plea deal, you never get your day in court and you give up your claim to prove your innocence. Sometimes, innocent individuals plead guilty to lower legal costs or to avoid confusion with the process. Some critics claim prosecutors have too much power and can use manipulative methods.

If you face criminal charges, it helps to know your options. A plea deal could benefit or harm your right to fair justice.