When you face criminal charges, it is a stressful and confusing time. On the one hand, you may want a particular outcome, but on the other, you may simply want the situation to be over.
Plea deals often prey on people who want to end the situation but may not realize the consequences of accepting a plea deal. There are cases where a plea deal can be beneficial, but it is critical to understand what happens when you agree to this type of deal.
Here's what you should know about plea deals and the impact a plea deal could have on your future.
You (probably) can't take it back
Often, a plea deal will come with a promise for a lesser sentence in exchange for your plea that you are guilty. When you choose to enter a guilty plea, judges will often ask a series of “are you sure?” questions to demonstrate that you know that you are doing and for a good reason.
In most cases, once you make your guilty plea, it is very difficult (if not impossible) to remove it from your record. While the reduced sentence may sound appealing at the time, the guilty plea typically eliminates your ability to appeal.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt
The criminal court procedures can be intimidating. After all, the prosecution may have started building a case against you before you were arrested.
However, it is crucial to keep in mind that you are still innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution has to prove your guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt. Your trial is an opportunity to create doubt in the prosecution's case. When you accept a plea deal, you lose the chance to build a defense.