Plea bargain arrangements may reduce the charges a defendant faces. When felony charges can be replaced with lesser misdemeanor charges, the accused person may gravitate toward accepting such a deal. However, defendants in Tennessee could find themselves looking at alternatives to plea bargains when the plea arrangement comes with drawbacks. Ultimately, a defendant and his or her attorney may work toward a preferable and feasible deal.
Alternatives to plea bargains
Plea bargains are not perfect as anyone who accepts a deal could end up with a permanent criminal record. A plea bargain might even involve jail time, albeit potentially far less time in jail than what may be the case with a guilty verdict at trial.
For many defendants, a plea bargain arrangement might be the most appropriate option to follow. Others may look at an alternative presenting a better deal, such as a diversion program. Granted, not every crime comes with diversion arrangements options as violent offenders may find themselves looking at a harsher situation. However, nonviolent offenders or first-time drug offenders might see the district attorney being amenable to the deal.
In essence, a diversion program allows a defendant to skip the trial and accept probation. Upon completing probation, the record becomes expunged. As a result, the defendant has several motivators to comply with the diversion program’s rules.
Points about plea bargains
The criminal justice system often finds itself burdened with adjudicating many criminal cases. Untold numbers of defendants may find themselves involved with petty crimes or ones that don’t present long sentences upon conviction. The costs and time involved with bringing everyone to trial can move district attorneys to look for ways to settle things outside of court, so plea bargains are commonplace.
A plea bargain does involve negotiating. A defense attorney may look out for a client’s best interests by rejecting an unfair deal. The attorney might also point out how poor the prosecutor’s case is or address illegally obtained evidence.
Criminal law presents not only options for defendants but also details their rights. A criminal defense attorney may help a client understand the law well enough to arrive at the best possible deal, be it a plea bargain or something else.