When you accept a plea bargain in your Michigan criminal case, you give up certain rights, which could change the outcome of your case. It is critical to understand the consequences of any plea you enter, and to work with an experienced post-conviction defense lawyer who can guide you through your case. Grabel & Associates has experience representing clients who are facing a variety of criminal charges throughout Michigan’s 83 counties, and our work has assisted clients in fighting for better case results statewide. Contact our firm immediately if you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge or if a plea bargain has been offered in your criminal case.
Although plea deals can be beneficial to defendants in Michigan criminal cases, it is important to remember that a plea agreement always offers some value to the prosecution if it is offered. Plea deals can help reduce the workload of the prosecutor and DA, but may also signal that the prosecution’s evidence is shaky or lacking, witnesses are not readily available, or for any other reason conviction is unlikely. Defendants may be able to receive a reduced charge or sentence based on a plea deal, however the consequences could be negative as well, especially if you fail to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer before accepting a plea bargain.
When you enter a guilty plea or nolo contendre (no contest) plea, you forfeit multiple rights. It is extremely difficult to change or withdraw a plea in a criminal case, so it is critical to be aware of the rights you give up by accepting a plea bargain before you take any action.
If you accept a plea deal, you forfeit the following rights:
Work with Grabel & Associates and understand the charges you are facing, as well as how a plea deal could affect your case.
There are a few different pleas that can be entered in criminal cases, and Grabel & Associates will help you review your case details and determine the best legal strategies to employ.
A defendant may plead guilty to a charge, admitting that he or she is guilty of the charges faced. If you plead guilty, you waive all the rights listed above, including the right to appeal, unless a skilled criminal appeals attorney can help you file a successful post-conviction motion to change or withdraw your plea, or file a motion for an evidentiary Ginther hearing.
Defendants may also plead no contest (or nolo contendre), which essentially results in the same waiver of rights as a guilty charge, without the defendant admitting guilt. Although a nolo contendre plea denies that the defendant is guilty of the charges, he or she is still sentenced for the offense. A no contest plea will not remain on your record as a post-conviction, and could benefit you if you face future criminal charges or other legal procedures.
If you plead not guilty to the charges you are facing, you retain all your legal rights and will have to work to prove your innocence throughout your case. The prosecution has the burden of proof to show you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and with an experienced attorney you can fight the charges in court.
Failing to enter a plea or missing your court appearance will result in an automatic not guilty plea, which cannot be changed or withdrawn without special permission from a judge.
While most plea deal cases involve the prosecution and defendant, certain cases can include the judge, who is actually in control of sentencing. While the prosecution may promise a lighter sentence when offering a plea bargain, there is no guarantee the judge will agree to that sentence, which is why consulting with the judge could be beneficial if it is an available option in your case. Entering what is known as a Cobb’s plea allows you to make a plea deal with the judge and prosecutor, ensuring the promises made are put into effect. Another type of plea, a Killebrew plea, allows a defendant to enter a guilty plea, conditional on the sentence the judge decides upon. If the sentence falls outside of the terms agreed to by the defendant and prosecutor, the plea can be withdrawn.
Work with the attorneys at Grabel & Associates to determine what plea you need to enter after a criminal charge, and how to best combat criminal conviction and harsh sentencing. Our lawyers have years of experience working in the Michigan criminal justice system, and can begin working to help you in your case immediately no matter what specific circumstances you face.
We look at every detail of a case and analyze the prosecution’s strategies in order to determine the most beneficial outcome available to you. Our attorneys will then advise and direct you, ensuring you fully understand every legal option available while remaining in complete control of your future.
If you or a loved one is involved in plea deal negotiations, or if you’d like to know more about pleas in Michigan and how different pleas could affect your case, call our firm toll free at 1-800-342-7896. Alternatively, contact our law firm online and ask to set up a free case consultation with experienced plea deal attorney Scott Grabel, who has over a decade of experience working in the Michigan criminal justice system. Don’t hesitate to hire a capable attorney who understands your case and the consequences of the plea deals you may be offered; contact Grabel & Associates now and achieve the best possible case result.