Is a plea bargain right for my violent crimes charge?

An arrest can spark a series of events that may lead defendants to feel as if their future is no longer in their control. Although there may be certain things out of a person's hands, most Wisconsin defendants have more options at their disposal than they realize. Even if facing a violent crimes charge, individuals may have the option to enter into a plea bargain, which can sometimes minimize the impact of the situation.

Despite what popular crime TV shows might depict, most criminal cases do not proceed to trial. Instead, defendants often enter into a plea bargain. This type of deal usually involves the defendant agreeing to plead guilty to a charge that is less serious than the one they are currently facing, and as a result they receive a lesser sentence. In many cases the original, more serious charges are dismissed.

Plea bargains typically generate from the prosecution and can help expedite a defendant's case, wrapping things up long before a trial would even start. Unfortunately, there are also downsides to these deals. A defendant without the proper resources to fully defend him or herself might accept a plea deal even if the accused believes he or she is not guilty. There is also the possibility that a defendant might fare better in front of a jury than in the plea deal.

Violent crimes charges are serious in Wisconsin, and the stakes are higher. A criminal conviction can alter a person's future, affecting employment and education opportunities. As such, most defendants focus on minimizing this impact. For some, this means utilizing a plea bargain in exchange for lesser charges, while others choose to pursue the matter to completion throughout trial court proceedings.

Source: FindLaw, "Plea Bargains Overview", Accessed on May 27, 2018

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