If I Get Offered a Plea Bargain, Should I Take it?

By August 24, 2018 May 24th, 2019 blog post, Plea Bargain

If you or a family member are currently facing criminal charges, we cannot stress strongly enough the importance of hiring a reputable, experienced attorney. As you face charges, difficult questions will arise, and one will most likely be, “If I get offered a plea bargain, should I take it?” The answer to this and many questions that will come up for you depend on the facts of your case. A reputable, aggressive attorney who has helped thousands of clients who have been in your same situation will provide valuable insights and shoulder the stress you feel as you face difficult decisions. As one of Michigan’s toughest legal defense law firms, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has successfully defended thousands of clients and can do the same for you!

What is a plea bargain exactly?

Few people realize how many defendants avoid trial and resolve a case through a plea bargain. When a defendant accepts a plea bargain, they agree to plead guilty or “no contest,” and as a result, the prosecutor reduces the charges they originally planned to pursue. Criminal cases are complicated, which is why you want to discuss this option with an experienced attorney. Another form of plea bargain includes a sentence agreement or agreement from the judge regarding the sentence to be imposed. A highly experienced defense lawyer will be able to expertly navigate between the various types of settlement opportunities and find the best possible combination to help the client avoid an unnecessary conviction or needless time in jail or prison.

All Plea Bargains are Not Equal

Frankly, trial lawyers achieve extraordinary plea bargains. Lawyers who are known for getting clients to routinely “take a plea” usually produce mediocre results for clients. Efforts to get a favorable plea bargain often depend on access to the highest levels of a prosecutor’s office and a lawyer’s reputation for successfully defending clients. When a known, respected lawyer seeks to meet with a senior prosecutor, they have a much better chance of getting the meeting and negotiating a favorable resolution than someone who is less well known or respected. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. practice with the theory that the only thing that proceeds the lawyer into the courtroom is their reputation. We are well known and respected fighters!

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Does it help to have a lawyer who is friends with the prosecutor?

One of the most popular misconceptions is that a defense attorney who is friends with a prosecutor gets the best deals. The fact is that prosecutor’s do not offer plea bargains based on whom they like best. In reality, prosecutor’s give the most favorable plea bargains to lawyers they respect. In criminal law, the community of lawyers is relatively small and strong, friendly relationships are common. The lawyers that consistently get the best deals are those who present a credible threat to the prosecutor’s case. Like most people in competitive industries, prosecutor’s want most to win and build their reputation. Lawyer’s who are the biggest threats to their winning records stand the best chance of achieving an extraordinary resolution.

If I’m guilty, should I take a plea bargain?

It’s difficult to provide general advice when each person’s situation is different. If you are guilty of the charge you face, you may be tempted to “take a plea.” In most cases, entering a plea of “guilty as charged” is not in your best interest and rarely is your best option. Accepting a plea deal may be in your best interest if a guilty verdict is likely following a trial. Although a judge is prohibited from “punishing” a person for going to trial, the harsh reality is that sentences following trials are frequently more severe than those imposed following a negotiated plea bargain. It’s important to remember that an experienced attorney knows your rights better than you do and will help you recognize moments where the proper protocol was not followed by the police or whether there are other holes in the charges which might result in a favorable plea bargain or sentence agreement.

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If you are guilty and the evidence stacked against you is considerable, a plea bargain is undoubtedly an option to discuss with your attorney who can use their insights from past-experience to give you a sense of whether or not this option is advantageous in your case. One benefit to a plea bargain is that it provides both the prosecution and defense with some control over the outcome. Trials are unpredictable, which can be difficult for accused individuals who are not comfortable handing over their fate. On the other hand, if the defendant has a known, experienced and successful trial lawyer representing them, the prosecutor will have an incentive to offer a favorable resolution. In cases where lesser known and respected lawyers are involved, there is much less incentive for the prosecutor to agree to an extraordinary plea or sentence bargain in a case. In fact, in those cases where the defense attorney is known as a “plea lawyer” the prosecutor will often offer a less favorable outcome knowing that the lawyer will end up manipulating the defendant into a plea. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is formed from a team of top trial lawyers!

Which rights do I forfeit when I accept a plea?

When you enter into a plea, you give up your right to appeal the charge, your right to a trial, and your right to remain silent. Because a plea is often irreversible, it is vital that you weigh your options with a reputable, experienced attorney team who knows the strategy to take that will ultimately win your freedom.

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The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are highly skilled at obtaining favorable plea and sentence agreements on behalf of clients. All cases are different, and the strength of the government’s evidence can vary from case to case; however, the weight and power of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is always and reliably strong. We will do whatever has to be done to turn the tables and give our clients the most significant advantage in court and at the negotiating table. When you want an extraordinary resolution, and there is no room for errors and false promises, then it is time to call us at (248) 263-6800. Feel free to complete a Request for Assistance Form and a highly skilled and experienced lawyer will promptly contact you.

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