The outcome of your criminal case can define your future. That’s why it’s imperative that you know how to properly defend yourself. While you might have certain criminal defense strategies available to you that can help you beat the prosecution and the charges that you’re facing, such as by successfully arguing that damaging evidence should be suppressed, sometimes the evidence compiled against you is insurmountable.
In these circumstances, you might be afraid of what awaits you, especially given the harsh penalties that prosecutors are threatening against you. And though you may be able to sidestep some of the most serious penalties by entering into a plea agreement, you shouldn’t just accept what is initially offered to you. Instead, you should think through what you can do to secure the best plea deal possible under the circumstances.
Tips for securing a favorable plea deal
There’s a lot that you can do to position yourself to obtain a favorable plea deal. Here are some steps that you can take as you navigate your case:
- Educate yourself: Before entering into negotiations with prosecutors, you need to know what’s at stake and where the plea deal falls on the range of severity given the crime charged. Therefore, you may find it helpful to learn about the minimum and maximum penalties so that you can see where your offer falls.
- Don’t settle: You’re going to have to be willing to give a little if you’re going to enter into a plea bargain. However, you shouldn’t just take want the prosecutors shove in your direction. Instead, you should try to make arguments as to why the penalties should be lessened or certain charges should be dropped.
- Understand the prosecutor’s motivation: You can better negotiate your plea deal if you have an understanding of the prosecutor’s motivations. Are they trying to save time and resources? Are they trying to make a point to the community at large? Or do they have it out for you give your criminal history? If you can pin down why the prosecutor is looking for the penalties that they’re looking for, then you may be better positioned to offer alternative arrangements.
- Be realistic: This is hard to do in the context of a criminal case. After all, no one wants to admit that they should be punished for wrongdoing. But you have to realistic when approaching your case and prosecutors, otherwise you may take a line that’s too aggressive and ends up actually leading to more significant penalties.
- Know the evidence: Both the prosecutor and the defense take a risk by moving forward with trial, which is another motivating factor behind plea bargaining. But you don’t know the risks until you thoroughly analyze the evidence of your case, paying close attention to your defense strengths and weaknesses. Once you know where your case stands, you’ll have a better idea of your bargaining power when it comes to negotiating a plea agreement.
Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of by aggressive prosecutors
Prosecutors are busy people who have a lot of cases to handle. As such, they’re probably eager to clear your case with a conviction. That said, they probably also want to hit you with the harshest penalties they can manage. Don’t let their statements about the likelihood of conviction get to you, though, and force you into a speedy resolution that isn’t in your best interests. You need to analyze your case for yourself so that you can make the informed decisions that are right for you.
We know that pushing back against the prosecution can be difficult to do, especially when you’re not trained in the law. That’s why you may find it beneficial to have a legal ally in your corner. By having a criminal defense attorney on your side, you may be able to not only fully protect your rights, but also obtain a resolution that you can live with and that protects your interests and your future as much as possible.