Most criminal charges, including drug charges, are resolved with a plea bargain that takes place long before the case goes to trial. If a defendant takes a plea bargain, they agree that they will accept a less severe charge instead of going to trial. If you’re a Florida resident and you or a loved one are facing drug charges, here are some important things to know about plea deals.
What you should know about plea bargains
Eventually, most defendants in cases that involve drug charges will be found guilty. When you enter a plea bargain, you’re making an agreement with the prosecutor that involves you pleading guilty. However, you’ll be pleading guilty to an offense that is not as serious as the crime you were originally charged for. You’ll also receive a reduced sentence as a result of the plea deal. The defendant and prosecutor must agree to these sentencing terms in advance.
When are plea deals used?
A plea deal or agreement is often used when it is clear or indisputable that the defendant is guilty. This type of agreement makes court proceedings more efficient and can save the defendant time and money which is why a plea deal is often offered for individuals accused of drug charges.
A criminal trial could take years to conclude. This indicates that the justice system would work much slower if every defendant mandated a trial with a full jury. There are not enough court personnel, including judges, security, and clerks, to work in a court setting each time a crime is committed. Judges and prosecutors want to settle cases as quickly as possible, which is why plea deals are suggested when applicable.