A plea bargain will show up on your criminal record. A plea bargain can be the best option for individuals facing likely conviction, and it carries several benefits. Under the letter of the law, a plea bargain and a conviction are similar.
The nature of the crime that you plead guilty to will determine whether you can eventually expunge the conviction from your record by going through the criminal expungement process. For misdemeanors and even more serious crimes like driving under the influence (DUI), or drunk driving, you may be able to remove the plea bargain from your record.
Why You Might Want to Choose a Plea Bargain
There are several reasons why a plea bargain may make sense in your case. A judge or prosecutor will offer you a more lenient deal if you are willing to plead guilty.
From the defendant’s perspective, the incentive for accepting a plea bargain may be twofold or threefold. A plea bargain may make sense for you if you:
- Believe that the prosecution has a strong case against you and that you will receive a conviction if your case goes to trial.
- Do not want to run the risk of a lengthy prison sentence, even if you believe the case against you is weak.
- Would rather plead guilty to a misdemeanor than risk a felony conviction.
- Do not have the financial means to go to trial.
These factors show why many people who are not guilty of a crime agree to a plea bargain, even if it does show up on your criminal record. Your instinct to secure a specific punishment timeframe rather than run the risk of a lengthy sentence makes sense, but it may not be your only choice.
Do Not Accept a Plea Bargain Without Consulting a Lawyer
For some, plea bargains may seem like the obvious choice, but you should never agree to a plea bargain without consulting an attorney. There are a few reasons for this, which include:
- An attorney may be able to secure a shorter sentence for you by leveraging your willingness to accept a deal, should the conditions be right.
- An attorney can ensure that you understand every aspect of the deal.
- An attorney may be able to provide insight into what a plea bargain means for you upon your release and/or when your probationary period ends.
What We Do for Our Clients
We ensure that you understand all the parameters of a plea deal before signing, including whether a plea bargain will show up on your criminal record. We protect your rights while explaining your legal options. Once you are our client, we make ourselves accessible via email, social media, and telephone (both texting and calling) to ensure a full level of transparency.
The legal process can be scary, even for individuals with previous convictions. We ensure that you are not taken advantage of. If you hire an attorney, they can make sure that you and your family fully understand the parameters of a plea deal before signing.
The stakes are simply too high to sign a deal without seeking the advice of legal counsel. If you are considering signing a plea bargain, allow us to help. Call our team today at the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. to discuss your case: (610) 680-7842.