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What to consider when offered a plea deal

If you are being charged with a crime, whether it is federal drug possession or trafficking charges or state based property theft such as burglary or grand larceny, it is likely not lost on you that these are serious charges that carry stiff penalties.

In light of these penalties, prosecutors may offer plea deals where substantially less jail time may be offered in exchange for a guilty plea. It should be noted that a large majority of criminal cases are resolved through plea deals, and they are a common part of our criminal justice system. However, the decision to accept a plea deal is not always so simple; especially when there are serious questions about the strength of the prosecution’s case.

As such, if you are facing the prospect of jail time, it is critical to take time to deliberate over your decision. This post provides a few things that one should consider before accepting a plea deal. 

Are the terms of the deal fair (or favorable)? – Under the plea deal, you may be required to testify against other people who are facing criminal charges. Could this make life more difficult even though you may not go to jail?

Will you be pleading to lesser charges? – Does a plea also mean that you will only have to answer to charges that carry a recommendation of probation or extended monitoring instead of jail time?

Will a plea affect my ability to earn a living? – If you have not been fired because of federal criminal charges, will obtaining future employment be thwarted with a criminal conviction?

How will my life be affected by accepting the deal? – Even if you are not going to jail, are the terms of the deal so strict that they will be all too easy to break; therefore putting your freedom at risk again.

The preceding is not legal advice. Questions about plea deals should be brought to an experienced criminal defense attorney

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