Illinois Criminal Defense Blog

Friday, April 18, 2014

I Was Offered a Plea Bargain - What Do I Do?

If you’re not working with a Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney, chances are pretty slim that you’ll be offered a plea bargain. Either way, you need to know what it is – and what it could mean for your case.

What is a Plea Bargain?

A plea bargain is basically a deal offered by the prosecutor in your case. In exchange for an admission of guilt, the prosecutor might agree to ask for a lighter sentence or to charge you with lesser crimes. It’s a negotiation process, and your lawyer won’t agree to anything without making sure you’re on board first. It can happen with virtually any type of crime in the state of Illinois.

Why Would a Prosecutor Offer a Plea Bargain?

Sometimes prosecutors view plea bargains as a slam-dunk. They get a conviction out of it, so they may not be too concerned with whether you spend an extra year behind bars or whether you plead guilty to a lesser charge; they “win” either way.

In other cases, prosecutors might not be entirely sure that they can win the case – even if they know you’re guilty. They might view a plea bargain as the only way to prove it in court.

Should You Accept an Offer for a Plea Bargain?

Every case is different, so it’s important that you talk to your lawyer about the pros and cons of agreeing to anything with a prosecutor. Your attorney will be able to tell you what the exchange is, and together, you should decide whether it’s worth it.

Well-meaning family and friends might chime in with their thoughts, but it’s important to remember that the decision is ultimately yours. Your lawyer, who has extensive experience in the Cook County court system, will be able to tell you how a plea bargain can change the dynamics of your case.

Need help? Call (847)920-4540 or send us a message. We’ll be happy to give you a free consultation and evaluate your options.

 


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