While some criminal cases do go to trial, a good majority of them are resolved by plea bargain. The terms of the agreement depend on the case, but most criminal defendants want to know what to expect before stepping foot in the Courtroom or having their attorney appear on their behalf to negotiate. There are several factors that go into the mix when a prosecutor examines a case to make a plea offer, and one of the most important is whether the defendant has any prior offenses.
Four other factors the State will look at when they make a plea offer to your attorney include:
- The type of crime with which you are charged, for more serious crimes you can expect an offer with more stringent guidelines and longer probationary terms.
- If there is a victim, the State will have talked with that person and try to make an offer that allows the “victim” to feel like justice has been served. It is not likely that a prosecutor will offer a plea bargain that appears to “let the defendant off lightly” when the person allegedly most impacted by the crime expects more. This is also true for high profile or highly publicized cases, because the prosecution feels the pressure of satisfying the court of public opinion.
- For cases including a death, the deceased’s family will have an opinion about the case and that is usually taken into consideration when negotiating a plea.
- If there are factors that are outside the norm for the type of case, the prosecution will also look at those factors when making an offer.
A skilled criminal defense attorney will take the facts of your case and present them in the light most favorable to you when negotiating on your behalf. We review the unique circumstances of your case and argue on your behalf for agreements that are doable. Our goal is for you to be successful while on probation, and when carrying out the terms of your plea agreement, and we know that can only be done if the terms are reasonable.
If you have questions about pleas, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for answers. Your first visit is a free consultation and we work with you to reach results that fit your needs.