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Advantages and Disadvantages of Plea Bargains

On Behalf of | Aug 6, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Many criminal defendants across the country and in California are ultimately forced to make a difficult choice: Do they take a plea bargain, or do they push forward with a trial? This is a deeply personal decision and one that can have major, life-long ramifications either way. That’s why it is so important that individuals who have been accused of crimes fully understand what they are doing before they make a final decision about whether or not to accept a plea bargain.

Advantages of a Plea Bargain

When it comes to criminal law, accepting a plea bargain comes with many advantages, including:

  • Acquiring a more lenient sentence, with lowered prison time and fines.
  • The chance to protect other aspects of one’s life, such as a pension or professional license.
  • Reduced legal expenses.
  • Reduced stress and uncertainty as a legal issue is brought to a conclusion.

An attorney who is familiar with the area of criminal defense will understand the potential advantages of a plea bargain and attempt to negotiate the best deal possible for you.

Disadvantages of a Plea Bargain

Of course, there are many disadvantages as well. These include:

  • Potentially pleading guilty to a crime that you didn’t commit.
  • Losing any chance to prove your innocence.
  • Forever having a guilty plea on your criminal record, which may come with a variety of legal, professional, and personal costs.

These decisions can be extremely difficult ones. Any individual who is considering taking a plea bargain should have an extensive conversation with their attorney about these advantages and disadvantages, then make the decision that works best for their legal situation.


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