White-collar crime covers a variety of subjects, including insider training, embezzlement, or fraud. In white-collar crime cases, plea bargains are sometimes offered as compromises between the prosecution and the accused. But are these plea bargains favorable for the defendant? Read on for some information from a white-collar crime lawyer on this complex subject.
Ask a White-Collar Crime Lawyer: When Should You Take a Plea Bargain?
All cases are unique so there is no straightforward answer as to when you should take a plea bargain, but plea bargains can sometimes be beneficial to a defendant who has been charged with a white-collar crime. If there is a possibility of reducing the consequences you face through working with prosecutors on a plea bargain. It may be the right decision. Financial crime lawyers in Houston can help you assess your situation and the bargain being offered.
There are several reasons that might lead prosecutors to offer someone being charged with white-collar crimes a plea bargain. They might offer one when, due to the intricacies of white-collar criminal law, they are worried that a case is too complex and detailed to prove to a jury. Prosecutors may offer a deal when they feel their case may be built on shaky premises as well.
What a Plea Bargain Might Entail
The exact terms of the plea bargain that may be offered to you vary from case to case. Here are some possibilities of what your plea bargain might involve:
Charges Dropped for Assistance with Ongoing Investigations
There’s a chance that you might not face any penalties at all if you take a plea deal. Sometimes, prosecutors use plea deals with defendants that they believe could be useful in furthering their case against other people suspected of having committed a crime. If they believe that the testimony and evidence you provide could be useful, they may offer you a plea deal on these grounds.
If you accept a plea deal such as this, it’s important that you follow up and provide the assistance that you agreed to. Failing to do so could end up putting you on even worse legal footing than you were in the initial situation.
Pleading Guilty to Lesser Charges
Often, financial crimes and other types of white-collar crime involve complex, layered lawsuits. You could be facing multiple charges rather than just one particular charge. Some of these charges will carry more severe sentencing possibilities than others. One possibility of taking a plea deal is that you may be able to have the more severe charges dropped so that you are only sentenced for the more minor charges.
It’s important to understand the potential sentencing that each charge you’re facing carries so that you can make the right decision. Pleading guilty to lesser charges as part of a plea deal could see you face fines, probation, or other more minor penalties as opposed to the jail time more serious charges could bring. A lawyer can assist you in understanding the potential ramifications of the different charges.
Forfeiting Rights to Appeal Sentencing
Of course, not every aspect of a plea bargain may be entirely favorable for you. In some cases, you may be offered what’s known as a “B” type plea deal. This type of plea deal might require that you forfeit your right to appeal the sentencing that is handed down to you.
It’s important to note that these types of plea deals come with no security for the defendant. This means that there is no requirement that any charges need to be dismissed as part of you taking the plea deal. However, on average, sentencing for defendants who took such a plea deal compared to those who took the case to court tends to be lighter.
How a Lawyer Can Assist You
The courtroom environment can be difficult for an inexperienced person to navigate. This can be even more true when it comes to white-collar crimes, which are often governed by laws that are quite complex. Knowing how to get through this process yourself can seem like a nearly impossible challenge. That’s why having the right assistance on your side is such a valuable asset.
A lawyer will be able to assist you with every step of the process of your white-collar crime case. That includes determining whether or not it is favorable for you to accept any plea bargains that the prosecution offers you. The lawyer will be able to work with you to weigh the benefits of the plea bargain with your chance of reaching a favorable verdict in a trial so that you can make the decision that fits your situation.
Every situation surrounding a plea bargain is different. Having an experienced lawyer on your side will help you navigate the complexities of your unique circumstances. (Published at Fictionistic)