When faced with a difficult situation, it is often wise to consider all available options for handling the predicament. In particular, if Florida police have leveled criminal charges against you, it may benefit you to explore your defense options. Because each case differs, the defense avenues available to you will depend on the types of charges you face and other aspects of your case.
In particular, you may wish to determine whether the option for a plea bargain is available for your situation. Depending on your circumstances, a plea bargain could offer certain benefits, but you should fully understand this option and other defense avenues before making any decisions regarding your course of action.
Benefits of a plea bargain
Plea bargains can involve a number of different terms and stipulations. However, the main appeal of such a deal is that it would allow the accused person to receive a less-severe sentence or have charges reduced in exchange for entering a guilty plea. Choosing to follow this route may also result in a person avoiding a long, drawn-out court process that may not yield better results.
Types of plea bargains
Though each plea bargain differs in many ways, three types of general plea bargains exist, which include the following:
- Sentence bargaining involves agreeing to plead guilty in exchange for a less-severe sentence. However, this type of bargaining is highly restricted, and some jurisdictions do not allow this type of plea bargain.
- Charge bargaining is the type of plea bargain that most commonly occurs and would involve you pleading guilty to a lesser charge than the one with which officers originally charged you or to plead guilty to one charge to have another charge dismissed.
- Fact bargaining would involve you agreeing to a certain set of facts in order to prevent other information from acting as evidence. However, this type of bargain occurs the least often, and like sentence bargaining, many jurisdictions do not allow its use.
In some cases, plea bargains are not presented as available options at all. If your case allows it, you may want to give this avenue its due consideration. Of course, you should choose to move forward with the defense strategies with which you feel most comfortable. Consulting with your legal counsel could help you understand plea bargains and other defense tactics that may suit your particular case.