If you are charged with a criminal offense, one of the legal options you can consider exploring is a plea bargain. As the name suggests, a plea bargain allows the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser crime in return for less severe sentencing.
However, it is important to understand that accepting a plea bargain offer strips you of certain rights. One of these rights is the right to appeal. This is why it is critical that you understand the consequences of any plea you enter during your criminal trial. That said, here are instances when you can challenge a plea bargain.
If you involuntarily accepted the plea deal
Before adopting a plea deal, the judge will ask if you voluntarily accepted the deal. They will also ask if you understood its implications. This means that your legal representative must provide you with sufficient information regarding a plea deal before acceptance. Keep in mind that while your legal representative can encourage you to take the deal, they cannot compel you to do so. If you did not accept the deal voluntarily, then you may appeal the sentence.
If new evidence emerges in your case
If there is new evidence that you believe can exonerate you from the crime in question, you need to consider appealing the conviction. This way, the appellate court will review the new evidence and determine if it is credible and significant enough to change the verdict.
You can also appeal sentencing on the grounds of new evidence if you can demonstrate that the trial judge made an error by not allowing the evidence into your trial. In this case, you will need to demonstrate that the reasons for rejecting the new evidence were legally unsound.
Your life will never be the same again if you are convicted of a criminal offense. Knowing your rights and privileges under the law can help you defend yourself and obtain a favorable outcome during your criminal trial.