Plea Bargains - Deal Or No Deal?
A brief but pointed discussion.
Plea Bargains - Some Information For You
To Consider Before Taking A Plea
Watch this Frontline Show On Plea Bargains or
read the Plea Bargain Show transcript.
Taken from Wiki discussing Plea Bargains: "Even when the charges are more serious, prosecutors often can still bluff defense attorneys and their clients into pleading guilty to a lesser offense. As a result, people who might have been acquitted because of lack of evidence, but also who are in fact truly innocent, will often plead guilty to the charge. Why? In a word, fear. And the more numerous and serious the charges, studies have shown, the greater the fear. That explains why prosecutors sometimes seem to file every charge imaginable against defendants."
Also see "Steps In A Trial - Plea Bargaining"
Note: We aren't lawyers and, as a result, do not and cannot give legal advice.
The following is an actual letter received at this website:
Dear sir or ma'am, I am writing you in despair. I feel I have been treated unjustly and unfairly. I was pulled over for a traffic stop in *** Ohio. I was issued a traffic citation which was paid. I questioned the officer on the ticket he asked if I was a cop I stated I was (past tense) which I was.
The officer lied on the ticket as well by saying proof of insurance was shown and was not. That is perjury on an official document. Also, while in a conversation with this officer he stated that he does not write officers tickets. How can this be fair and impartial law enforcement?
The officer filed a complaint that I impersonated an officer. This case was held in ***, Ohio. The presiding Judge was ***. My attorney was ***. The cop stated to my attorney that there was a cruiser video tape. My attorney subpoenaed the video tape the day before court. The officer showed up to trial without the tape. My question is why? The court and the prosecutor did not seem to care about the missing evidence. The officer could not produce the tape that should have been put into evidence, right? *** was in the vehicle at the time and can corroborate my story. I went to court and I took the plea of guilty for two reasons.
- I did not want to lose my job and
- Nobody could guarantee me not doing any jail time.
If I did take it to trial my attorney stated that the punishment could be worse. So I took the plea and I have pretty much a clean record except for a few traffic citations and a disorderly back when I was in college in 1995 and that’s it.
So as a result, I am put on 1 year probation, 80 hours of community service and I have to pay a fine of 250 Dollars plus costs. How is this justice? This punishment is unfair and unjust. The officer lied and I can’t get anyone to help. Please sir help me in this matter. I would not be writing you if I was guilty. Sincerely, ***
It has been said, "the closer you get to trial, the better the plea deal becomes."
The question is do you have the balls and stamina to ride it out? Assuming you are innocent, The system has made all of us afraid to pursue our innocence. They have a million ways to wear you down - threats, yelling, countless hearings and court dates, talk of your loved ones missing you, telling you the plea bargain they are presenting is the best you can get, telling you they have never seen such a good deal before, being uncommunicative, deliberately not preparing for trial, calling you stupid etc.
This is all designed to MAKE YOU SURRENDER YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO PRESUMED INNOCENCE AND A TRIAL IN THE NAME OF LEGAL OR JUDICIAL EFFICIENCY. But know this - trials are their own type of nightmare. We would be remiss if we didn't tell you that. Select your nightmare carefully!
Should you take the plea bargain guilty or innocent? Only you can answer that. Well over 90% crack under the pressure and we understand why. The stress, pressure and anxiety can be overwhelming. If you do plea, it is not unusual to feel guilty for doing so. Your sense of relief for taking a plea can be quickly overshadowed by the penalties and social and legal stigma you have to face as a result of your plea. If you find yourself regretting your plea bargain and have no legal remedies to reverse it, familiarize yourself with Legal Abuse Syndrome - it might help. Our advice is simple...PROCESS RAGE INTO RECOVERY, MOVE ON AND HELP OTHERS!