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Plea Bargaining to Avoid Felonies

 Posted on February 22, 2024 in Uncategorized

Texas Criminal LawyerThe prosecutor assigned to your felony case probably does not want to go to trial any more than you do. As a criminal defendant, you do have the right to demand a fair trial before a jury of your peers if you decide that is what is best for you. However, trials can be risky for both sides. The prosecutor risks losing the case entirely and seeing you get acquitted of all charges. You risk getting convicted of a felony when you could have had your offense reduced to a misdemeanor by accepting a plea bargain. Defendants who are convicted at trial are often sentenced more harshly than those who plead guilty, as trials can take up a significant amount of the state’s time and resources. That said, you may have a valid defense that makes going to trial worth it. Your Houston, TX, criminal defense lawyer can help you decide how to plead and whether to change your plea

Benefits of a Plea Bargain

The main reason some criminal defendants choose to accept a plea bargain is that doing so can reduce the degree of their offense from a felony that carries more than a year of prison time to a misdemeanor that carries less time or may result only in probation. Another reason to consider a plea bargain is that defendants who plead guilty are generally sentenced less harshly

For example, if you are facing a felony DWI and several years behind bars, you might be given the option of pleading guilty to a misdemeanor DWI and only getting a few weeks of jail time followed by probation

Drawbacks of a Plea Bargain

The major downside of accepting a plea bargain is that you will have a criminal offense on your record, and that cannot be changed even if you later find a reason your case should have been dismissed. Taking a plea bargain means you almost certainly cannot appeal the verdict later

Some defendants who are genuinely not guilty ultimately accept a plea bargain in order to avoid the risk of being convicted of a more serious crime. If you did not do what you are accused of doing, your lawyer will most likely want to exhaust all other options for clearing your name before attempting a plea bargain

Contact a Houston, TX, Criminal Defense Attorney

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. is skilled in helping criminal defendants choose the best course of action. Experienced Harris County, TX, criminal defense lawyer Doug Murphy will work to protect your rights. Contact us at 713-229-8333 for a complimentary consultation

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