Criminal cases are primarily resolved through plea deals or trials. When a defendant is trying to determine what avenue to take for their case, they have to think carefully about what each option means for them. This can be a difficult choice.
One one hand, a plea deal means that you know what the outcome of the case will be. While it guarantees a conviction, it also generally removes all doubt and anxiety about the sentence you’ll face. A trial means that you can’t be certain about what will happen. You could walk away free and clear — or you could end up facing a much harsher punishment than you would with a plea deal.
However, there’s another important thing to consider when you are trying to decide if a plea deal is right for you. When you accept a plea deal, you generally are admitting that you are guilty of the charges against you. When you do this, you are waiving your right to appeal the conviction or the sentence. This is an important thing to understand because it means that you can’t come back later with claims that you are innocent or claim that your sentence was unfair if you decide you made a bad bargain.
For some individuals, knowing that they have the option of appealing later might be the point that pushes them away from the plea arrangement and toward the trial.
We understand that you have to make decisions based on what you feel is best for your needs. A consultation with an attorney experienced with appeals may help you make your choice.