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Are plea deals as good as they sound?

In times of war, people on one side often give those on the other a harsh choice: Surrender or die – and that can sound pretty unreasonable. If you stand accused of committing a crime in the U.S., however, your choices might also feel unreasonable. Prosecutors can make it sound like you have no hope of fighting the charges, which leaves you with two equally unappealing options: Admit you did the crime in a plea deal and get a criminal record and some penalties or deny you did it and get a criminal record and likely even harsher penalties after a conviction at trial. Before you bow to the pressure, give up your right to mount a defense and take a plea deal, here’s what you should consider:

Prosecutors want to prosecute you

They’d prefer you didn’t mount a defense. Hence they make it sound like admitting guilt is the easy way out of trouble. It’s definitely not, as a criminal record will affect you for life and even though the court may reduce the penalties if you plead guilty, they will still be incredibly harmful to you and your family.

You always have the option to fight for your freedom

There are several defense options available for most crimes. Even if it is blatantly obvious you did something, that does not mean the prosecution can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt in court. Even if they can, escaping conviction on a technicality may still be possible.It can feel lonely when all you hear is the prosecution telling you how you really need to admit guilt now. That’s why it’s essential to use your right to legal counsel so you can make an informed decision on whether the plea deal on offer really is your best bet.

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