Defendants should understand plea agreements and their effect

Defendants should understand plea agreements and their effect

| Jun 23, 2020 | Criminal Defense, Criminal Law |

During a criminal proceeding, a Maryland defendant will likely consider a plea bargain. This is because very few criminal cases end up going all the way to trial. Before they accept the deal that’s offered, they should know more about what a plea agreement means for them and their future.

There are three different types of bargains that defendants could strike with the prosecutor. The first kind is when the individual agrees to plead guilty to one crime so more serious charges can be dropped. The next agreement is when the individual pleads guilty to the charged crime for a lighter sentence than the maximum. Finally, a defendant may agree to plead guilty to certain facts so other facts that could support the conviction of a more serious crime are left out of court.

Most defendants will end up reaching a deal with the prosecutor, but they should only do this after serious consideration of the consequences. A plea bargain may mean that the defendant will receive a prison sentence and or a fine. They will also have a criminal record or be required to register as a sex offender, and this can follow them years into the future. Nonetheless, many defendants will opt for an agreement to take the risk of a stiffer sentence off the table.

When facing criminal charges, a defendant could use a criminal defense attorney on their side to help them through the process. The attorney could ensure that their client’s rights are respected. Oftentimes, a plea agreement is the best possible outcome, and the attorney might work to negotiate with the prosecutor.