criminal defense lawyer

What You Should Know About Plea Bargains

If you've been arrested, you're likely facing time in jail, large fines, community service and more if you're convicted. This can be a scary prospect, but there are ways to reduce your sentence or even lower the charge against you. When you work with a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney, one way they may try to help you is through a plea bargain. This does end up with a conviction on your record, but it may save you quite a bit in potential penalties.

When you're first charged with a crime, your lawyer can tell you what penalties you're facing. If you're charged with a felony, you could be facing at least a year in jail on top of fines, community service, probation and more. You'll also be facing the loss of some of your basic rights, which in Florida can include the ability to vote and to carry firearms. It's also going to be difficult for you to find a job or rent an apartment with a felony on your record. Your lawyer will try to have all the charges against you dropped, but often this is not possible. When it's not, they may suggest a plea bargain.

A plea bargain is an admission of guilt simply to obtain a lighter sentence. Often, you'll plead guilty to reduced charges instead of what you are charged with. For example, if you are charged with felony theft, you may be able to receive a plea bargain for misdemeanor theft. The misdemeanor charge has less than a year in jail, lowered fines, and you will not lose your civil rights. You will also avoid having a felony on your record, which means it won't be as difficult to find a job or a place to live. This can be a much better outcome than going to trial and being convicted and sentenced for the crime you were originally charged with.

If you've been arrested, a jacksonville criminal defense attorney may talk to you about accepting a plea bargain. Make sure you understand all of your options and how the plea bargain can benefit you before you accept it. Even though your attorney suggests it, you don't have to accept it. You will want to consider it at least. After all, it could make a big difference in the outcome of your case. If you'd like to learn more or find out if a plea bargain can be beneficial in your case, contact the Dale Carson Law Firm today. You can call them or visit their website at to learn more.