If you are arrested and charged with a drug-related offense, your primary concern should be how you can either get off the hook or avoid harsh penalties should you be convicted. Unless you have a strong defense, predicting the outcome of your case can be quite difficult. Fortunately, one option you can consider to take care of the stress that comes with your anticipated trial is to consider entering a plea deal.
Basically, a plea deal is an agreement between the defense and the prosecution where the accused person admits to committing a lesser crime in exchange for lenient sentencing. But is a plea deal usually a good idea when facing a drug possession charge?
Understanding how plea deals work
Either the prosecution or the defense may propose a plea deal. However, both parties as well as the judge must agree to the plea deal before it can take effect. This means that if the judge declines the deal, then you will go to trial.
A plea deal comes with its share of merits and demerits. Here are some of the reasons why you might opt for a plea deal during your criminal case:
If you want lenient sentencing – If the prosecution has a strong case against you, and the probability of a harsher punishment upon your conviction is real, you may accept a plea deal in exchange for less severe sentencing.
If the prosecution promises to reduce your charges – facing a drug crime is something you do not want to take lightly. If the prosecution proposes to charge you with a lesser drug offense than what you would otherwise face, then accepting a plea deal might be a prudent idea.
However, plea deals have their share of drawbacks too. For instance, a plea deal strips you of the right to present your case in court. It also means that you are going to have a criminal record.
Facing a drug-related charge is a big deal. Find out how you can safeguard your rights and defend yourself when facing drug possession charges in Virginia.