If you are accused of a crime, you will soon learn what it’s like to be involved in the criminal justice system. Your attorney will talk to you about building a case for trial, but you may also have opportunities to avoid trial by settling with the prosecution.
The prosecution may want to close the case outside of court to reduce the court’s caseload or because they believe that there is a reasonable offer on the table for you and anyone else involved in the case. This saves the court time and may save you money by resolving the case without the need for a jury or judge’s time.
There are a few times when it may be reasonable to settle and take a plea deal. Here are three reasons to consider one.
- You have more control outside of trial
One of the benefits of a plea deal is that you have more control over the outcome of your case than if you were to go to trial. If you’re being offered a reasonable resolution that will prevent you from facing the maximum charges, it’s worth at least hearing the prosecuting attorney’s offer.
- You know that a trial case will result in losses
If you know that your case is not strong and that you could lose at trial, taking a plea deal might be to your benefit. While you might win the case at trial, your attorney will be able to explain to you the likelihood of that happening and what could happen if you don’t.
- A settlement or deal is reasonable given the circumstances
Finally, if the deal that the prosecuting attorney wants to make is reasonable based on the circumstances, you may want to take it. For example, they may offer a deal where you pay restitution and have probation for a year. That, compared to the risk of a several-year prison sentence, may be reasonable enough to take it.
This is your case, and you get to choose if you settle with a plea deal or go to court. It’s a good idea to talk about any offers and to think them through before deciding if you want to reject or accept them.