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Signs of a fair and reasonable plea offer

On Behalf of | Feb 16, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Facing criminal charges can be an incredibly stressful and uncertain time. When the prosecution makes a plea offer, it may seem tempting to take it and move on. However, not all plea deals are fair and reasonable.

It is important to carefully weigh your options and determine if an offer is truly fair before accepting it.

Reduced charges

One sign of a fair plea bargain is a reduction of the charges. For example, the offer may reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor. This carries less severe penalties and avoids having a felony conviction on your record. However, make sure the reduced charges accurately reflect your actions. Do not admit to crimes you did not commit just to get a lighter sentence.

No mandatory minimums

Some charges carry mandatory minimum sentencing laws that require judges to impose strict penalties, no matter the circumstances. In fact, the U.S. Sentencing Commission reports that nearly 30% of criminal cases include a mandatory minimum for sentencing. A fair plea deal will avoid these, allowing for more judicial discretion in sentencing based on the facts of your case. This gives you a better chance at a lighter punishment.

Time served consideration

If you have been in jail awaiting trial, a reasonable plea offer should account for the time served. For example, if the prosecution’s offer includes a 1-year sentence, but you have already served 6 months, you should only have to serve 6 more months upon pleading guilty. This avoids unfairly long periods of incarceration.

While no plea deal is perfect, paying close attention to these factors can help you determine if an offer is legitimate and truly in your best interes

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