A plea bargain is an agreement "between a criminal defendant and the prosecutor where the defendant agrees to plead guilty to some or all of the charges against him or her in exchange for concessions from the prosecutor," as stated by the Legal Information Institute, Cornell University.
Some benefits about entering into a plea bargain include:
- Lesser or No Jail Time. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the defendant may get out of jail altogether or on probation, with or without some community service obligations. Alternatively, the defendant may have to serve time but would still get out sooner than if the case had gone to trial.
- Resolving the Matter Quickly. Being involved in a criminal case is a stressful event, and some defendants may opt to enter into a plea bargain to resolve the situation quickly. For example, a defendant charged with a minor crime may not be want to miss work repeatedly for a trial and entering a plea bargain would allow him or her to resolve the matter in one court appearance.
- Having Fewer and/or Less Serious Offenses on Record. Pleading guilty or no contest in exchange for a reduction in the number of charges or the seriousness of the offenses present better on a criminal record than what the convictions might result following trial.
Although these benefits are tangible, there is no easy way to answer the question without careful examination of the facts in each individual case. A criminal defense attorney who has been briefed on the facts of your case can provide you with a careful analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of a plea agreement. Immediately retaining an attorney will enable you to protect your rights. If you were recently arrested for a crime in New Hampshire and are curious if a plea agreement is right for you, contact a New Hampshire criminal attorney at Wilson, Bush & Keefe, P.C. for an immediate and effective consultation.