Understanding Plea Offers
Most often, the State will offer you a plea bargain. You need to understand your options before you make a decision.
What are the advantages of a plea offer?
- Pleas usually settle cases faster than trials.
- Trials are a big gamble. You might win. But you also might lose, which could mean a longer sentence, a higher fine, more community service, and even more jail or prison time.
- Most attorneys charge less for a plea than for a trial.
Is there a chance I could plead to a lesser offense?
- If you’re lucky, the State might let you plead to a lesser offense.
- Lesser offenses sometimes result in fewer future problems.
Is the offer for deferred adjudication?
- If you complete deferred adjudication, you won’t have a conviction on your record.
- You may also be eligible for an Order of Non-Disclosure. It may help you prevent some future problems.
Is the offer for straight probation?
- Straight probation is a conviction.
- A conviction may cause other related issues such as suspension of your driver’s license, issues with citizenship applications, voting rights, or sex offender registration.
Will this plea count against me in the future?
- A conviction will probably count against you.
- In some cases, even a deferred case may count against you.
You need to understand the consequences before you decide how you want to resolve your case.
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