The Power Of Negotiation: How Criminal Lawyers Secure Plea Bargains
Watch any courtroom drama, and you’ll see the same scene play out over and over again: With an ardent plea to the conscience of the jury or some surprise piece of last-minute evidence or testimony, the defence attorney manages to secure their client’s freedom.
That’s television for you—always exciting, rarely realistic.
Here in the real world, most cases never reach the trial phase unless there are exceptional circumstances that warrant it. Trials are incredibly risky—lose at trial, and you may face the maximum penalty for the crime you were accused of.
Plea bargaining is the solution—a way for your defence attorney to guarantee a good – if not the best—outcome for you. Plea deals are extremely low risk, but they can only come about through shrewd negotiation. Here’s what you need to know:
What Is a Plea Bargain?
Plea bargains are known by a wide range of names—you might see them called plea negotiations, plea deals, plea agreements, or even resolution discussions.
By any name, their nature is the same: In exchange for a guilty plea, the prosecutor will offer the accused some benefit. The benefits offered may include:
- Dropping charges
- Reducing the severity of charges (from indictment to summary convictions)
- Offering a more lenient sentence
- Reduced fines
- And many other benefits
When the chances of winning outright at a trial seem slim, a plea bargain is an excellent way for a defence attorney to guarantee better outcomes for defendants. Plea bargain negotiations play an important role in the criminal justice system.
How Attorneys Negotiate Plea Bargains
Plea deal negotiations are incredibly complex. Factors from the severity of the crime, the evidence present, and even prior convictions all play a role in plea bargains (among many other factors).
Defence attorneys know that clients rarely want to plead guilty—that’s why they work tirelessly to get the best plea deal possible. To do this, they need defendants to provide them with as much information as possible.
As a defendant, it’s essential to be open and honest with your defence attorney. By giving them all of the information they need, they’ll be able to reach a better agreement. They’ll also be better equipped to decide whether or not a case should go to trial.
Should I Take a Plea Bargain?
As a defendant, it’s always your decision whether or not you plead guilty.
Your defence attorney will only present you with a plea agreement if they truly feel it’s the best solution available. Sometimes, this hurts—it’s a sad reality that the best option for people who are completely innocent of a crime is, sometimes, to plead guilty.
Should you choose not to plead guilty, you can rest assured that your attorney will do everything in their power to win your case when it goes to trial.
Looking for a Defence Lawyer? Call Matt Gould Today
When you’re facing criminal charges, it can be hard to know where to turn. Matt Gould is a lawyer in Winnipeg with years of experience helping defendants beat criminal cases.
As a great defence attorney skilled in plea bargaining, he can help you avoid jail time, get a lesser sentence, and get charges dropped. When a case goes to trial, he’ll fight for you every step of the way.
You can rely on the legal expertise of our criminal lawyers in Winnipeg. You can rely on Matt Gould.