Most defendants facing nonviolent charges typically get offers of plea bargains to adjudicate their cases. This is not unusual with the overwhelming number of both civil and criminal cases crowding the Alabama courts.
Thus, plea bargaining is a necessary part of the local, state and federal judicial systems. It can also, at times, be beneficial to the defendants taking the pleas. But that is when everything goes as planned and the judge agrees to the terms.
If all the plea bargain pieces do not fall into place, the defendant can be left hung out to dry.
How can I tell if a plea bargain is a good idea?
As Shakespeare said in Hamlet, “Ay, there’s the rub.” In other words, there are good plea bargains and there are really bad ones. Most defendants without legal training won’t be able to tell the difference. They could also feel pressured by prosecutors to cop a plea.
Defense attorneys play pivotal roles in plea bargaining
Almost universally, a defense attorney can arrange a better deal than you can with the prosecutor. They have seen the evidence the prosecution has and understand its strengths and weaknesses. The prosecution could seek a plea bargain because they don’t have enough evidence to convince most juries of your guilt.
They could also have you dead to rights and a plea bargain is all that is standing between you and a prison sentence. No one can make this important decision for you. After all, the one advising you won’t have to serve your time (or deal with house arrest or probation). And you will still have a conviction on your record.
Make an informed choice based on the circumstances of your case
Learning all you can about the Alabama laws pertaining to your case, including “mandatory minimums,” can help you make the best choices for you and your family.