In Texas criminal cases, plea bargains are often the best way to resolve criminal charges against you. While some criminal cases do proceed to trial, a large number of cases are resolved by plea bargain, which is a deal or contract that you and your criminal defense attorney work out with the prosecutor. The plea bargain generally sets forth the punishment that you have agreed to and helps you avoid the uncertain outcome of a trial. When you enter into a plea bargain, you are giving up certain constitutional rights, such as the right to a jury trial and the right to confront the witnesses against you. You ultimately plead guilty to one or more of the charges, or to a lesser charge. Once you have reached a plea bargain, it must go to the judge for approval. While in most cases the judge approves the plea bargain, the judge does have the discretion to reject the plea bargain.
In many cases, the punishment outlined in the plea bargain is more lenient than that you might receive if you took the case to trial. Your plea bargain may include a number of different penalties, including a jail sentence, a period of probation, and even deferred adjudication, which may involve terms and conditions such as community service, counseling, and random drug testing. While you are free to negotiate the terms of your plea bargain, the prosecutor will consider a number of different factors in determining what conditions to include in your plea bargain. For instance, the prosecutor is likely to consider factors such as the seriousness of the crime, any injuries that occurred, your previous criminal history, your psychiatric history, and home and work situations.
At Peek & Toland, we will explore all available alternatives to resolve your pending criminal case, including any plea bargains that are on the table. We are dedicated to protecting your rights and defending you from any potential criminal charges, but we also can help you carefully consider any plea bargains and determine whether a plea would be in your best interest. We are here to investigate the facts surrounding your case, consider your options, and help you develop the strategy that is best designed to achieve a successful outcome in your case. Do not waste time; contact our office as soon as you are charged with a criminal offense.