If you have been charged with a crime in Texas, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. However, many cases are resolved through plea deals that are negotiated before they have the chance to get to trial. There may be several benefits to accepting such a deal even if doing so may mean waiving many of your rights.
You could face a longer sentence if convicted by a jury
In the event that you’re convicted of a serious crime, the prosecutor in your case may push for the maximum sentence. There is also a chance that a judge will be required to abide by state sentencing guidelines. Depending on the charge, this could mean spending the rest of your life in prison. However, by taking a plea deal, you might be released from custody within a matter of years.
In some cases, accepting a plea deal might allow you to avoid spending any time in jail or prison. This may make it possible to remain employed, stay current on your debt obligations and generally allow you to maintain the lifestyle that you enjoyed prior to being charged.
A prosecutor may reduce the charges against you
It’s important to note that accepting a plea deal is the same as being convicted of a crime. However, the prosecutor in your case may agree to reduce the charges that you’re actually pleading guilty to. This may improve your chances of finding a job, obtaining an apartment or getting into college at some point in the future.
It may also improve the chances of retaining custody of your children after your case has been resolved. A criminal defense attorney may provide more insight into the potential benefits of agreeing to any offer presented by the state.
While you have the right to take a case to trial, it may not always be in your best interest to do so. However, an attorney can represent you if you choose to resolve a case through a plea deal, and that is entirely your decision to make.