Most criminal cases in the State of Texas and elsewhere are resolved using a plea bargain. In a plea bargain, the person accused of the crime admits guilt to one or more of the pending criminal charges. In exchange, the State may agree to drop one or more charges or reduce the penalties that the individual will face for pleading guilty to the crime or crimes.
People enter plea bargains for many reasons. The evidence against them may be so overwhelming that they feel they have little chance of winning if the case goes to trial. In other cases, the potential penalties for a conviction at trial are so significant that the individuals are not willing to take the risk of a poor outcome at trial. Additionally, individuals may simply wish to get their criminal cases over with, serve their punishments, and move on with their lives. With a plea bargain, individuals accused of crimes can achieve a level of certainty about their future that is not available by proceeding to trial on the criminal charges.
Prosecutors and defense counsel work out plea bargains in negotiations outside the courtroom. A defense attorney cannot agree to a plea bargain on your behalf. You must fully agree to the plea bargain before it is submitted to the judge for approval.
Whether taking a plea bargain to resolve your case depends on your circumstances. Every case is different. In some cases, the prosecutor may have intentionally charged you with multiple crimes, even when some are unwarranted, simply to have more bargaining chips available in plea negotiations. In this case, a plea bargain may not be in your best interests. Only an experienced criminal defense lawyer accustomed to handling plea bargains can thoroughly evaluate your situation and advise you of the benefits and risks of a plea bargain that the State has proposed in your criminal case.
If you or a family member is facing criminal charges, we may be able to help. As experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you navigate through often-complex criminal proceedings. Call us today at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment with one of our criminal defense lawyers and learn how we can assist you.