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Why it may be unwise to accept a plea deal right away

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Criminal Defense

In the intricate dance of the Maryland criminal justice system, plea bargains often emerge as a tempting shortcut. However, defendants should be wary of accepting such an agreement without thorough consideration.

A plea bargain that could lead to a more lenient sentence is undeniably attractive. But there are several good reasons not to rush in. Here are some examples to consider.

You sacrifice your rights

When defendants accept a plea deal, they often relinquish fundamental legal rights, potentially without full awareness of the implications. The right to a trial by jury, the opportunity to challenge evidence and the ability to appeal a conviction are a few of the rights you forfeit. This sacrifice can have profound and lasting effects on your legal journey and its outcome.

You may miss alternatives

A thorough investigation led by a robust defense team may uncover pivotal new evidence or reveal potent defense tactics. Hastily agreeing to a plea deal can prematurely close the door to these discoveries, potentially forfeiting the opportunity for a more advantageous resolution.

You will be convicted

Accepting a deal means admitting you committed a crime, even if it is lesser than your original charge. As such, you will be convicted and penalized. Explore every possible defense before finally taking a deal to see if there is any way to avoid a conviction altogether.

What to do instead

Rather than immediately signing a plea bargain, take some time to think it over. Compare its potential disadvantages with its benefits to ensure fairness. A defense representative can help to ensure any offered deals serve your best interests.