Whether you should take a plea bargain depends on the specific circumstances of each individual case. But one thing is always true: you should never accept a plea bargain without talking to an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with your case. Relying on the advice of a public defender may not always be in your best interest because public defenders often juggle a heavy load 100 to 200 cases at a time and will not have the time or resources to investigate your case and prepare a powerful legal defense strategy the way we can.
Sometimes, public defenders and prosecutors negotiate pleas to push cases through the system faster even when your case may be strong enough that it would be better for you to go to trial. It is, therefore, important that you talk to an experienced private criminal defense attorney who will have your best interest at heart and give you sound legal advice without being under the pressure of “getting your case off their desk.”
When a prosecutor offers you a plea bargain it may seem like a “nice” gesture. Prosecutors may try to convince you it is in your best interest to accept a deal on their terms or risk being charged with a more serious offense and face harsher penalties. But plea bargains are sometimes offered because evidence against you is flimsy and the prosecutor believes they might lose at trial, or it may be offered just to reduce the court’s workload by getting you through the system faster.
Prosecutors are not your friends and are they are not your legal advocates. They are not required by law to make decisions to help you or offer legal advice that is in your best interest. Prosecutors are government employees who represent the state and operate from the premise that you are guilty; they work hard to get a conviction. They are required to do what they think is in the best interest of the state not in your best interest.
A plea bargain might truly be in your best interest, but if you plead guilty or no contest to a charge, you waive the right to a trial and if you are sentenced unfairly, you might not even have the right to appeal the sentence. A prosecutor will usually offer to recommend a lighter sentence if you accept a plea, but they cannot decide or guarantee sentence terms. The sentencing judge decides what penalties and jail time you will receive and can choose to ignore a prosecutor's recommendations.
Our criminal defense lawyers work differently from the police and prosecutors. We will only advise you to accept a plea bargain if it is truly in your best interest. And, if the prosecutor is not offering a plea, we may be able to get charges against you reduced by negotiating a plea bargain that will help you avoid facing more serious charges and penalties.
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime you need an attorney who has the time and resources to develop your case and build the best legal defense possible. Unlike many other law firms that spread themselves thin by practicing accident and injury law, business law, and family law, Grabel & Associates is one of the very few law firms in the state of Michigan that only practices criminal defense law.
Our legal team has more than 100 years of combined defense and trial law experience and can provide you with aggressive and exceptional legal advocacy. Our criminal defense team will do everything possible to ensure you avoid a conviction and jail time. With attorneys throughout the state of Michigan, Grabel & Associates provides aggressive criminal defense for people throughout the state. Contact us 24 hours a day for a free initial consultation with one of our experienced case analysts. The decision to call us is your first step toward getting the best legal defense possible.