When Is It Smart To Take A Plea Deal?

When Is It Smart To Take A Plea Deal?

While a plea deal is never anyone’s first choice, there are times when it makes sense.

Here’s when you and your attorney should start having serious discussions about plea bargaining your case.

1. When the prosecution’s case is just too strong.

This often happens when you are, in fact, guilty. You know the prosecution has plenty to go on. They know they have plenty to go on. Thanks to criminal justice reform in New York, we should now be getting getting disclosure early enough to know whether they have enough to go on, too. As former prosecutors, we were always pretty good at finessing the system to get it a lot faster than most. The backing of the law still helps.

Defense attorneys are not miracle workers. If you committed a crime and got caught in the act (i.e., when driving under the influence) then getting an acquittal may be untenable. If there is no strong defense we can use in your case, and if we can’t find any evidence to back up that defense because the evidence doesn’t exist, then plea bargaining is probably the logical next step.

See also: In the News: Disclosure Laws to Give Defendants a Fighting Chance

2. When you’ve already served enough time to meet the conditions of the bargain.

Many people spend time in jail for months, even years, before they make it all the way to trial. If a prosecution offers a plea deal and includes time served you might have already served the entire sentance already.

It means accepting a criminal conviction, which can be emotionally difficult if you’re innocent. But it also means going home to your family and having more time to rebuild your life. You risk a much harsher sentence and many more years in jail if you don’t seriously consider taking the deal.

See also: 5 Grim Yet Surprising Facts About Our Criminal Justice System

3. When we’ve worked out a really good deal.

When jail time becomes community service. When your records will be sealed or expunged when the sentence is served. When a felony becomes a misdemeanor. These are all great times to consider a plea deal.

Often, negotiating with prosecutors is a good way to defend your case. As former prosecutors ourselves we know what we can ask for. We also negotiate a lot harder than public defenders, who don’t have the time or energy to do so. We know your case inside and out by the time we’re having these discussions, and so know when and how to apply the leverage to get you a favorable outcome.

See also: The Pros & Cons of Plea Bargains

It’s always your choice.

We can only advise you as to whether the deal that’s being offered is a good deal in your specific case. We are always willing to fight for you in court, if that’s your choice. And we’re prepared to tell you when that’s a good idea…and when it’s not.

Getting entangled in the criminal justice system is never easy and it’s never without consequences, even if you just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. We’re here to help you make those consequences as minimal as possible.

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About The Author

Jeffery Greco

Jeffery Greco is an attorney providing legal services covering Criminal Defense and Criminal Defense: White Collar and Criminal Defense: DUI / DWI. Jeffery Greco, who practices law in New York, New York, was selected to Super Lawyers for 2020 - 2023. This peer designation is awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. The Super Lawyers selection process takes into account peer recognition, professional achievement in legal practice, and other cogent factors. Prior to becoming an attorney, he studied at South Texas College of Law Houston. He graduated in 2004. After passing the bar exam, he was admitted to legal practice in 2005.

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