Are you facing criminal charges in Georgia? If so, you may be feeling anxious about what comes next. There is so much to consider when it comes to determining how you want to plead and what path you want to take with regard to the trial. Many people believe that they will have to have a jury trial. However, while it is certainly your right to have a jury trial, it is also your right to waive it. You may do this if you wish to be tried in front of a single judge instead of a jury of your peers. You may also do this if you accept a plea bargain offered by the prosecution instead of going to trial.
What is a Plea Bargain?
A plea bargain is essentially an offer by the prosecution. Instead of going to trial, you will plead guilty or no contest to a less serious offense or in exchange for less harsh penalties. This allows the prosecution to avoid a costly trial and quickly resolve a matter. For defendants, the benefit of a plea bargain is generally the security that it provides. Going to trial is risky in that you have no idea what the outcome will be, regardless of how confident you are in your evidence. By accepting a plea bargain, you know exactly what the outcome will be, and you are able to avoid the uncertainty and emotional toll of a trial.
What to Know About Plea Bargains
- They are not all bargains. Just because the prosecution offers you something does not mean it is a bargain. Ultimately, the prosecution wants to avoid going to court. They are not trying to do you any favors. Make sure that you are looking out for yourself and advocating for yourself. Feel free to negotiate the terms of the plea bargain, and do not be afraid to walk away and take your chances in court if you feel that is what is best for you, or the terms are unreasonable.
- Lawyers get the best plea bargains. The prosecutors will give the best deal to an attorney, as they know an attorney will not simply accept a terrible offer that they could beat in court. Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf and will have the knowledge of what constitutes a fair sentence for similar charges.
- They can help you avoid jail. Depending on the specific charges that you are facing, a plea bargain may allow you to stay out of jail by pleading guilty to a less serious charge or in exchange for a less serious sentence, such as being able to avoid prison.
- You can accept a plea bargain at any point in the process. It is possible to accept a plea bargain at any point in the process, but you may find that your bargaining power is highest before your case has proceeded to trial, and the prosecution has no sunk costs with regard to the litigation at that point. For this reason, it is wise to get representation as soon as possible after you are charged.
Schedule a Consultation with Ghanayem & Rayasam in Atlanta Today
If you are facing criminal charges in Atlanta, Georgia, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Ghanayem & Rayasam are ready to fight to get the charges against you dropped or reduced. We will work to negotiate the best possible plea bargain on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.