Law enforcement organizations make many arrests, ranging from violent crimes to traffic violations. Most jurisdictions have a backlog of cases to hear. You might think that all of these arrests result in criminal trials by which the prosecution (state or federal government) takes the individuals arrested or charged with a crime to court for a conviction and punishment.
In reality, this does not always happen. A majority of criminal cases are resolved through plea bargain agreements. In a plea bargain, the defendant agrees to admit to committing a crime and the prosecution agrees to be more lenient by dropping some of the charges and providing a lighter sentence. If the defendant had gone to trial and lost the case, the punishment would usually have been more severe.
In Massachusetts, plea bargaining is a significant part of the court and criminal justice system. A large percent of criminal cases in the Commonwealth result in some form of plea agreement instead of going to a trial by jury. However, individuals need to make sure that they fully understand plea bargain agreements, and the advantages or drawbacks they might have on their cases. There are many factors that can impact your plea bargain agreement, such as the specific facts involving your case, your criminal history, or your financial situation. In some cases, the decision to accept a plea bargain is not always easy. You should discuss plea bargain agreements with your criminal defense attorney and allow him or her to explain plea deals and their impacts on your case.
In a plea bargain agreement, the prosecution and defense will each give up something to get something in return. The prosecution gives up the right to take a case to trial and prosecute the case to the fullest extent of the law. However, the prosecution will still be able to make a conviction against a defendant. On the other hand, a defendant agrees to plead guilty of a crime and waives the right to a jury trial. In return, he or she experiences a more favorable treatment or punishment from the prosecution.
Usually, when your criminal defense attorney advises you to consider a plea agreement, he or she feels a jury or judge would find the defendant guilty of the crime. Plea agreements are created when there is overwhelming evidence against the defendant by the prosecution. Going to trial is not advisable, and the plea deal can become a benefit to the defendant who will not have to face a trial by jury.
Plea bargaining offers many practical benefits, such as that defendants do not have to spend time and money defending themselves in a court trial. The prosecution will save time and money by not having to go through a long trial. The prosecution and defense do not have to endure the uncertainty of a trial. Also, the court system does not have to spend time conducting a trial for every crime committed.
If you have been charged with a crime and want to know more about plea bargain agreements for your case, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the punishment or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney, Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.