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5 Things You Should Know About Plea Bargains

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

September 27, 2016

In Florida, one of the most common strategies of fighting a criminal charge is entering into a plea bargain. A plea bargain occurs when a person offers an accused individual a deal in exchange for a reduced sentence, reduced charges, or dropping related charges. To help you understand, our Miami criminal defense lawyers have listed five things you should know about plea bargains:

1. There are two different types of plea bargains:

A prosecutor may offer an accused person a charge bargain or a sentence bargain. A charge bargain occurs when the prosecutor provides a person with the opportunity to plead guilty to a lesser charge or to have some charges dropped in an exchange for admission of guilt on the main charge. A sentence bargain occurs when a prosecutor tells a person what their sentence will be if they plead guilty. In these cases, a person is often told they will face maximum conviction for the criminal charges, but if they plead guilty to certain charges, they will be punished for only those charges and in doing so, avoid maximum penalty.

2. It is important for the charged person to understand the deal:

It is important for an individual to fully understand the details outlined in a plea bargain before agreeing. Failure to do so can cause a person to face more severe penalties and costs in the future. In addition, an understanding of the plea bargain can allow a person a fair chance to fight against the charges that have been filed against him or her.

3. A person will be required to uphold the requirements outlined in the deal:

It is crucial for an individual to remember that he or she will be responsible for upholding the details outlined by the prosecutor in the plea bargain. A skilled lawyer can help the person track the details in order to protect the person’s rights and future.

4. An individual can file a complaint if the prosecutor doesn’t uphold their end of the deal:

If the prosecutor does not uphold his or her portion of the plea bargain, the person can file a complaint to force the prosecutor to comply or to have the person’s plea put aside.

5. If charged, a person should seek experienced legal representation right away:

A person charged with a crime should always contact a seasoned lawyer before accepting a plea bargain. A lawyer can examine the plea bargain and may be able to have some or all of the criminal charges reduced or dropped before the person pleads guilty. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to determine that there is not enough evidence for the prosecutor to make a legitimate case or may be able to gather information and evidence to prove the individual’s innocence.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a crime, we urge you to get in touch with a Miami criminal defense lawyer at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. right away. We can examine the details of your case and determine which legal strategies.