When to Accept a Plea in Pittsburgh?
Sometimes called plea deals or plea agreements, plea bargains are a common way for prosecutors to deal with criminal charges in and around Pittsburgh, PA.
Pleas are generally great for the prosecutor. It lets them avoid the cost and time required of a full trial, while still doling out punishment. While a plea bargain often seems like a great compromise for someone facing charges, this is not always the case.
Have you been charged with a crime and considering making a deal to get things over with quickly? This can be risky and there are other things to consider. At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, let an experienced Pittsburgh criminal attorney walk you through all of your options, evaluate any deal presented, and make sure it’s the in your best interest.
Call our Pittsburgh office at (412) 281-2146 24/7 for a free and confidential consultation.
Plea Agreements: What to Keep in Mind
Sometimes a plea bargain is your best move, but prosecutors are not your legal advocates. They are simply offering the plea deal out of convenience and in the best interest of the state.
Before accepting a plea bargain in Pittsburgh, have it thoroughly analyzed by your own attorney, who can honestly say whether the offer is really in your best interest.
Reduced Sentences are Still Convictions
Even a reduced sentence for a simple assault or DUI is still a conviction, even if it does not carry the harshest possible penalty. The conviction will still be on your permanent criminal record and you could be subjecting yourself to more punishment than you rightfully deserve.
In addition, a plea bargain means giving up your right to appeal a decision. Many people assume that because a plea deal usually comes with sentencing guidelines, it is an assured outcome. However, while judges usually accept the prosecutor’s recommendations, they are not required to do so.
Sometimes this means getting a harsher punishment than you expected when you agreed with no recourse.
Plea Bargains: Benefits & Drawbacks
Sometimes plea bargains are worth taking, but since pleas require careful consideration, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a plea bargain before making up your mind.
The following are the top five pros and cons of most plea bargains:
Pros of Plea Bargains
- You can save time and money by avoiding a trial.
- If you plead to a lesser crime (a felony to a misdemeanor) means lesser penalties.
- You may be offered a less severe punishment than the maximum possible.
- You can be spared the stress and uncertainty of happens next.
- The plea could involve terms that are less negative to your criminal record.
Cons of Plea Bargains
- You must plead guilty, even if you didn’t do the crime.
- A jury trial can result in unknown consequences and penalties.
- You lose the chance to appeal any final decision.
- A trial could reveal weak evidence and lead to aquital, but it’s a risk
- The judge retains the right to ignore any recommendations.
A Lawyer Can Negotiate Terms & Fight for You
In the end, pleas are just a tool used in criminal proceedings. Therefore, you need to objectively consider any offer.
While you have the right to accept a good deal, you also should not feel obligated to accept a plea just because you are scared. Since plea bargains are used in most criminal cases, a Pittsburgh criminal attorney can accurately assess the merits of any individual offer.
At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC, we always are honest with our clients about proposed plea offers. We know what to look for, how they can impact your life in the long-run, and when you should fight for a better outcome.
Review some of the favorable results we’ve achieved for our clients.
Let Worgul, Sarna & Ness Help
If you have been arrested in the Pittsburgh area and offered a plea deal, don’t accept it right away. Let the experienced Pennsylvania criminal attorneys at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC help determine if it’s in your interests.
Call us today at our Pittsburgh office at (412) 281-2146 for a free consultation.