Most criminal defendants in New York will end up accepting a plea bargain as very few cases will go to a jury trial. Before accepting a plea bargain, defendants need to know their rights and the ramifications because it will result in some sort of criminal punishment. Moreover, negotiating a plea bargain is not always an easy process.
Most prosecutors do not want to expend the time and resources that it will take to try a case. Instead, it is easier and more efficient to enter into a plea deal. There are three types of plea agreements. The first is when the prosecutor allows the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser change in exchange for dropping the more serious charges. The second is the defendant pleading guilty to the criminal charge in exchange for a reduced sentence. The third type of agreement is when the defendant agrees to admit to certain facts in a tradeoff for the prosecutor omitting other facts from the case.
While many defendants end up accepting a deal, they should know what happens afterwards. It may result in jail time, a fine and a criminal record. Even if they avoid prison, there may be other impacts such as a sex offender registration or a felony that could keep them from getting a job. However, many defendants ultimately decide that it is worth it to accept.
Criminal defendants should not negotiate or accept a plea bargain on their own. Hiring a criminal defense attorney will put them in a stronger position to negotiate with the prosecutor. Most defendants will explore a plea bargain at some point during their criminal proceeding, and the advice of an attorney is crucial in knowing whether the prosecutor is offering a worthwhile deal. The criminal justice system is difficult to navigate alone.