What is a plea agreement?
A plea bargain, or plea agreement, is an offer between a defense attorney and a prosecutor regarding the formal charges levied against a defendant. This offer typically seeks reduced charges (thereby leading to decreased penalties) rather than the full punishment that is available to, and can be served by the court. While a plea bargain can be very beneficial to a person charged with a crime, it also is in no way a guarantee. It is a negotiation between both sides in a court case, and a prosecutor has the full right to withdraw the offer at any time.
Plea bargains are governed not by criminal law, but by contract law. A plea bargain is secured upon the signing of a contract, and as such, can be withdrawn at any point before performance takes place. Performance is considered complete when the court accepts the offer, rather than the defense or prosecution accepting the offer. At Martinian & Associates, we have tried a large number of criminal cases, including those involving plea bargains. We are experienced in working towards a solution that is intended to serve the best interests of our clients, and we can do the same for you in your criminal case.
Making a Plea Agreement
In criminal cases, it is sometimes possible to reach a formal agreement between the prosecutor and defendant of a case, effectively allowing the defendant to plead guilty to the specific charges made against him / her in return for some sort of concession from the prosecutor on the case. Very often, you and your defense attorney will be able to work out an agreement with the prosecutor on your case, thereby providing you the opportunity to plead guilty (usually to a lesser charge) under the condition that a more lenient sentence be provided to you.
For both parties involved, enacting a plea bargain can be extremely beneficial. Of significant importance to the defendant, defense attorney and prosecuting attorney is the fact that carrying out a plea bargain agreement will substantially expedite what is typically quite a lengthy process. This is primarily because a criminal trial can be avoided altogether when such an agreement is enforced. It is not uncommon for defendants charged of a felony offense to agree to a plea bargain in which they would instead plead guilty to a lesser charge and subsequently be convicted of a misdemeanor offense and suffer the consequences that go along with it.
Determining whether or not it is the right decision to follow through with the offer to make a plea bargain can be a difficult dilemma, to say the least. There are many factors that need to be considered and weighed before ultimately making a decision on your behalf, and these circumstances should be reviewed under the guidance of a legal professional who can help you make the best determination for your case. Therefore, we encourage you to call an attorney from Martinian & Associates today. In doing so, you will be providing yourself with the best chances of obtaining the least inhibiting results to your criminal case.