Are Plea Deals Negotiable?

When you face a criminal charge, you have the tough choice of whether or not to take your case to trial. One of the reasons that you might not take your case to trial is because you take a plea deal. Getting the right plea agreement is critical. Not all plea agreements are created the same. Here’s what you need to know about negotiating plea deals from our criminal defense attorneys.

Are plea deals negotiable?

Yes, plea deals are negotiable. In fact, a plea deal is whatever agreement the parties work out. As long as the state prosecutor and the defendant agree on the terms of the plea deal, the parties can resolve the case with a plea bargain. There are no rules that require a state attorney to extend a certain plea offer based on the original charges. In fact, all plea deals are negotiable.

Can a plea deal be negotiated?

Yes, a plea deal can be negotiated. In fact, there are a lot of nuances and details that can be a part of a plea bargain. To begin, you agree on what charge the defendant is going to accept. For example, for a charge of second-offense drunk driving, you might negotiate a plea offer to a first-offense drunk driving charge. However, you might also negotiate the plea to a reckless driving charge. Even within a charge, you can discuss specifics like recommended jail time. In general, a plea offer can be negotiated on specific, detailed terms as long as both parties agree that the plea is a complete resolution of the criminal charges.

Negotiating the best plea offer

There are a number of things that go into negotiating the best plea offer. First, it’s important to begin with understanding what plea offer you’re looking for. Each criminal plea carries its own unique penalties. You need to consider what’s most important to you whether it’s avoiding jail time, avoiding a felony charge on your record or keeping your driver’s license intact. Once you know what you hope to accomplish, you can find the right plea to pursue in your case.

Second, you need to build a strong case in order to get the plea offer from the state’s attorney. Remember, you don’t have a right to any plea offer. The state can simply insist that you either plead guilty to the original charges or go to trial. That makes it up to you to convince the state that it’s in the interests of justice for you to get the plea offer.

To get the best possible plea bargain, you approach the case from multiple angles. For example, you look for ways that the state’s case is weak. You prepare a strategy to point out weaknesses to the state’s attorney without revealing your trial strategy. In addition, you pursue positive personal characteristics that show why you deserve leniency. You might show that you started substance abuse treatment. Maybe you gather letters from family and friends. With a combined approach, you work towards a plea offer by showing the state that it’s best for everyone to resolve the case with a favorable plea.

How our criminal defense attorneys can help

An experienced criminal defense attorney is critical to helping you win the compensation that you deserve. If you’re facing criminal charges, call Applebaum & Associates. With our passion and experience, you can get justice in your case. Call us today.

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