Should You Plead Guilty to Criminal Charges?
If you are facing criminal charges, there’s a good chance you have a lot of questions about your case and your future. One of the first things you should keep in mind is that the vast majority of criminal cases do not go to trial – instead, they are resolved through the plea bargain (or plea agreement) process. In a plea bargain, a defendant decides to plead guilty in return for the prosecutor recommending lesser charges or a lenient sentence to the judge.
Plea bargains can benefit both parties. Prosecutors do not have to spend the resources it takes to bring a case to trial, and defendants can typically count on a more lenient sentence and have more certainty about the outcome of their case. In fact, in some scenarios, pleading guilty to a crime can actually prevent you from having a criminal record, provided you comply with the terms of the sentence imposed by the court.
Whether you should plead guilty to criminal charges is a complicated decision that requires weighing a number of factors. Some of these factors include:
- The strength of the state’s case against you
- Your personal beliefs about your guilt or innocence
- The severity of the sentence you are facing at trial
- The attractiveness of the outcome you would obtain through a plea agreement
Only you can decide how you want to plead to criminal charges, but an attorney can help negotiate a favorable plea bargain and advise you as to your chances of success at trial.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Bedford
If you have been accused of a crime, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced Bedford criminal defense attorney immediately. To schedule a consultation, call Shawn P. Sweeney, Attorney at Law, today at 888.339.9862 or contact us online.