If you’ve ever been arrested and charged with a crime like driving under the influence, you know that at some point you will have to officially enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. In some cases, the prosecutor may offer you a plea deal, which means you can agree to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence or reduced charges. What happens after you accept a plea deal? How can you make this difficult decision? Here’s everything you need to know about plea deals according to the office of Denver criminal defense attorney John Buckley:
A judge has to approve it.
If you agree to a plea bargain, you can’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet. Even though the prosecutor has already approved and offered you the deal, it still has to be approved by a judge before it is official. Once you have decided to plead guilty, the judge will be informed of your decision and he will review the terms of the agreement.
Prosecutors often offer deals because of scheduling.
Prosecutors tend to have a lot on their plates. Sometimes, this motivates them to reach a plea deal in order to lighten their workload a little bit. If a defendant agrees to the plea deal, the prosecutor won’t have to put time and effort into preparing the case for court. However, just because it benefits the attorney does not mean it is in the best interests of the defendant. This is one more reason why it’s important to contact a criminal defense attorney for representation - to ensure that your interests are met.
Deals can be made at any time.
You could be offered a plea deal at any time during the court proceeding. Some prosecutors will make a deal shortly after you are arrested and charged with a crime, while others will wait until right before the trial is about to take place. In some cases, the prosecutor and defense attorney will discuss the possibility of a plea deal if the jury is hung, which means they are unable to come to a unanimous decision. Attorneys often believe a plea deal is more beneficial than going through another trial in this situation. Learn about the basics of a plea bargain
Don’t decide until you’ve talked to an attorney.
No matter how attractive a plea deal may appear to be, you should never agree to it before speaking with an attorney. A lawyer will help you determine whether accepting the plea deal is in your best interests. Remember, pleading guilty means you will be convicted of a crime, and this conviction can stay on your record and affect your life for years. This is a huge decision—and one that shouldn’t be made without an attorney.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, contact the Law Office of John Buckley. We work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley
as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation.