Sometimes, the prosecution will offer a lighter sentence if you plead guilty instead of proceeding with a trial. Many of our clients find this offer tempting, as it would allow them to avoid the intimidating process of a trial.
However, our Sacramento criminal defense lawyers will advise you to carefully consider the consequences of accepting a plea bargain if it is offered. Any charges you plead guilty to will be entered into your criminal record. The prosecution may warn you of this fact and tell you that it may make the penalties for future criminal charges more severe. However, even if you never get arrested again, having a record can have severe consequences that may not be immediately obvious. A mere state misdemeanor will prevent you from ever owning a gun, and a drug possession offense will bar you from receiving federal student loans.
In light of this, our Sacramento criminal defense lawyers will generally only recommend accepting a plea bargain when your odds of winning at trial are slim. This is not a simple assessment to make, as the prosecution often offers generous plea bargains when its case has a major but undisclosed weakness. Your attorney will need to find any discrepancy between the deal you were offered and deals for cases similar to yours, which may require him to consult with other attorneys. A major discrepancy may signal a major weakness in the prosecution’s case, in which case your attorney may advise you to call the prosecution’s bluff and either hold out for a better deal or go to court to try and try to avoid the charges entirely.
Knowing when and when not to accept a plea bargain is just one of the many skills our experienced Sacramento criminal defense lawyers have. Your defense attorney will be able to tell you when to take a plea, when to wait for another deal, and when to take your chances at trial. Having an experienced defense attorney on your side now is key to getting the best possible outcome to your case. Call Sacramento criminal defense attorney Param Pabla today for a free consultation.