Taking a plea agreement may seem like the easy way out of your criminal charges, especially if you are offered time served or a deferred sentence, but the consequences may be far worse than you realize. A guilty plea is an automatic conviction, a win for the prosecutor. Rest assured that the prosecutor is not acting in your best interest and will not advise you of all of the areas of your life that can be affected or destroyed by your conviction. While a plea bargain may be the best outcome for you, you need to talk to an experienced Louisiana criminal defense attorney to find out what you are really signing up for and if you can get a better deal.
Even if you can avoid serving time, a conviction on your record can haunt you. It could cost you your job, future job opportunities, and professional licenses that you hold. Certain types of convictions can hurt you in child custody proceedings.
Setting You Up to Fail
If you enter a plea agreement that lets you avoid incarceration as long as you don’t get into more legal trouble for a set amount of time, there is a good chance that you will wind up serving your full sentence, in the long run. Meeting the all of the conditions of your plea agreement may prove to be far more difficult than it seems when dangled in front of you as an alternative to jail or prison time.
By pleading guilty, you are waiving your right to appeal.
Judges Don’t Have to Honor the Agreement
In most cases, the judge is not required to honor the terms of the deal you made with the prosecutor. It’s rare, but when you plead guilty the judge can decide to void your bargain and give you the harshest available punishment.
Getting the Best Deal
Sometimes, a plea deal really will be in your best interest, but you cannot go on the prosecutor’s word. You need to talk to a criminal defense attorney to make sure that you are getting a good deal. It could be a bluff. There may not be a good case against you. The prosecution may know the case will be thrown out if it goes to court. And, you will get a better offer if you are represented by a highly respect criminal defense attorney. It may not be fair, but it’s the way our system works.
If you are considering pleading guilty, in Louisiana, please call the law offices of J. Ransdell Keene at 800-597-9247 today or contact us online to learn more about your rights and the possible consequences of pleading guilty.