Although a defendant’s ultimate goal is to obtain a “not guilty” verdict or get their case dismissed, sometimes circumstances do not make either of these scenarios possible. Fortunately, many people facing criminal charges have a chance to drop some charges or reduce penalties upon conviction.
A plea bargain is an agreement made by the defendant and the prosecutor which helps both parties avoid a criminal trial. In most cases, how it works is that the defendant agrees to plead “guilty” in exchange for a less severe sentence. Plea bargaining also applies to “no contest” pleas.
The obvious benefit for defendants is a reduced sentence—such as avoiding jail or prison time—as opposed to serving the full punishment for a criminal offense. Prosecutors often make plea agreements to obtain a conviction without spending money and overburdening the court system with another trial.
While Wisconsin judges are not required to accept plea agreements, most judges trust prosecutors and often agree to such deals. However, if the plea deal doesn’t fit the seriousness of the crime or fails to take a defendant’s prior criminal history into account, judges may reject a plea bargain.
Let an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Reach a Plea Agreement
Attorneys are crucial in helping defendants understand the details behind plea bargains, enabling them to make the best decisions possible. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, our Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella can evaluate your case, determine whether or not a plea agreement will work in your favor, and ensure you receive the most favorable outcome in your case. Although reaching a plea deal is considered a last resort, we will do our best to ensure your rights and future are protected.
If you have been arrested for a crime in Milwaukee, contact us and speak with our experienced legal team today.