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What You Need to Know About Plea Bargains
If you are facing criminal charges, you may want help determining how to deal with your plea bargain, which is one of the reasons you may want a criminal defense lawyer Bloomington IL residents trust to help you with your criminal case.
What is a Plea Bargain?
Any criminal defense lawyer Bloomington IL has to offer may tell you that plea bargains were born as the number of criminal cases increased. Criminal cases may take a few days to several months to conclude, so plea bargains are a solution to overcrowding and cases that drag on.
A plea bargain requires a defendant to plead no contest or guilty to their charges so that the prosecutor will drop one or more of the charges, recommend a shortened sentence, or reduce a charge to something less serious. Your Bloomington criminal defense lawyer may tell you that in some cases, this is a win-win situation.
You may be surprised to learn that over 90% of convictions are the result of plea bargains, meaning that not even 10% of cases go to trial. Some people have a negative view of plea bargains, but some states have established laws that mandate how a plea bargain may be arranged. It may be in your best interest to discuss your options with a criminal defense lawyer Bloomington IL relies on.
There are two main types of plea bargaining: charge bargaining and sentence bargaining.
Charge bargaining occurs when the prosecutor bargains with the defense in order to drop or reduce a charge in exchange for the defendant’s plea. Sometimes this involves dropping more than one charge to pursue the main charge, or reducing the degree of a single charge. Your criminal defense lawyer Bloomington IL residents trust may be able to advise you when you should take a charge bargaining deal.
In sentence bargaining, the entire sentence for certain charges is reduced for the defendant in exchange for their plea. This bargaining usually must be reviewed and approved by a judge and isn’t used as often as charge bargaining.
Should You Plead No Contest or Guilty?
A no contest plea means that you don’t deny the charges against you, but you are not saying that you are guilty. A no contest plea usually results in the same type of verdict as a guilty plea. The difference comes in civil court, when the no contest plea can’t be used as evidence against you. A guilty plea can be used against you if a victim chooses to sue you in civil court, and may contribute to the case against you.
Any criminal defense lawyer Bloomington IL has to offer may be able to walk you through each plea and advise you which one to choose, and the advantages and disadvantages of both options.
Facing criminal charges is something that can easily change your future in a moment. You don’t have to determine how to navigate the charges alone. Call a criminal defense lawyer Bloomington IL residents trust at Pioletti and Pioletti at 309-467-3213 today.
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