Plea deals, plea bargains, and plea agreements are all terms used to describe a situation in which a criminal defendant pleads guilty to a crime in order to receive a benefit of some kind. Although “true crime” television shows would lead most people to believe that nearly every criminal case ends up at trial, plea deals are actually very common in criminal cases.
When you are charged with a crime and the prosecution offers you a plea deal, you should take time to consider all the options before making a decision. Each case is different and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer and carefully weigh the pros and cons of accepting a plea deal versus going to trial.
Types of Plea Deals in Illinois
The type of plea deal offered to a defendant depends on the specific facts and circumstances of their case. Common types of plea deals in Illinois include:
Reduced charges – The prosecutor may agree to reduce the charge from a more serious offense to a lesser offense. For example, if you are charged with murder, you might get a plea deal that reduces it to manslaughter.
Reduced sentence – The prosecutor may agree to reduce the length of your jail sentence if you plead guilty to the offense.
Dismissal of certain counts – The prosecutor may agree to dismiss some of the charges against you if you plead guilty to other charges.
Dropped Charges – The prosecutor may agree to drop all of the additional charges against you if you plead guilty to a lesser offense.
Plea Deals vs. Going to Trial
When evaluating whether to take a plea deal or go to trial, it is important to consider the risks and potential benefits of each option. Going to trial means that you are willing to put your fate in the hands of a judge or jury and allow them to decide your guilt or innocence. If you are found not guilty, then all of the charges against you will be dismissed. However, if you are found guilty, the verdict may carry more serious penalties than what you would have received under a plea deal.
Plea deals can also have their risks and benefits. On one hand, a plea deal may result in a lighter sentence or reduced charges than what you might receive if you were to go to trial. On the other hand, if you accept a plea deal, then this will be considered an admission of guilt and may have serious implications for your future. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney before making a final decision on whether to take a plea deal or go to trial.
Contact our DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help
At [[title]] we understand the difficult decisions that our clients face when deciding whether or not to take a plea deal. Our experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorneys will help you evaluate your options and provide you with the information and legal support that you need to make an informed decision about your case. Call [[phone]] for a free initial consultation.