Hello and welcome back to the blog here at Dan DuBois Law, the home of Buffalo, NY's top criminal defense attorneys! This blog is not legal advice and generally serves to distribute available information to the good people of Western New York so that they can be more informed of their rights. We also cover legal updates and the legal process, to try and give you some piece of mind.
Today, we're going to continue our little mini-series covering the legal process with a post all about plea bargains.
What Is a Plea Bargain?
There are two types of plea bargains that are available in New York. They are charge bargains and sentence bargains. We will dive more into these terms and their differences at a later date.
A plea bargain is a settlement between the defense and prosecution. It involves the accused pleading to a lesser crime that the prosecution agrees to, and is then confirmed with the judge and sentencing is issued. They're used to avoid the potentially lengthy and costly trial process and to avoid the chance the defendant gets charged with an elevated crime. For example, if you were charged with a ticket for speeding and having an expired registration, then a plea bargain might be for a nonmoving violation.
Plea bargaining is an important part of the criminal justice system. This is because plea bargains free up the court system from every case going through to trial, which is a lengthy process that can get expensive very quickly. These agreements can be reached at any time during the legal process and the complexity and severity of the case may play into when one comes.
Benefits of Plea Bargains
Plea bargains offer the accused the chance to resolve their journey through the legal process with a charge that's typically lesser than what they were originally suspected of. This also gives the defendant the knowledge of exactly what their sentencing will be immediately instead of waiting for a separate hearing. The prosecution also benefits from plea bargains because even the best cases can fall apart in a trial under the right circumstances. Plea bargains give both sides certainty on the outcome of the case.
Plea Bargain Risks
Plea bargains don't come completely risk-free, though. A defendant could feel coerced into taking a plea bargain even if they are innocent. Oftentimes, a guilty plea gives up the right to appeal, and the amount of information available pretrial may be limited. That's why it's imperative you have a competent and qualified New York defense attorney at your side, like Dan DuBois and DuBois Law.
DISCLAIMER: PAST RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE FUTURE RESULTS, AND THE OUTCOME OF YOUR PARTICULAR CASE OR MATTER CANNOT BE PREDICTED USING A LAWYER'S OR LAW FIRM'S PAST RESULTS. EVERY HYPOTHETICAL SHARED HERE IS JUST THAT, AN HYPOTHETICAL. EACH CASE IS UNIQUE AND SHOULD BE EVALUATED THROUGH A PHONE CALL OR MEETING WITH DANIEL DUBOIS, WITHOUT COMPARISON TO OTHER CASES WHICH MAY HAVE HAD DIFFERENT FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES.
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