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What is a Plea Agreement in an Illinois Criminal Case?

June 20th, 2016 at 6:22 pm

Illinois plea agreement, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerCriminal defendants have a choice when facing criminal charges: they can either fight the charges in court, or they can enter into a plea agreement. In many cases, it is in a criminal defendant’s best interest to fight the charges that they are facing. By fighting the charges, it is possible to have the charges reduced or dropped entirely.

However, there may be a situation where it is in the best interest of the criminal defendant to enter into a plea bargain with the prosecution, with the help of a skilled and seasoned criminal defense lawyer, to reach an agreement that results in lesser charges or lesser sentencing for the criminal defendant.

Nearly all criminal charges can be settled with a plea deal. In fact, a majority of criminal cases are resolved through a plea agreement. Plea bargaining is an effective means for resolving a case, which saves on time, court costs, and attorney fees. A plea agreement can provide certainty in the situation, and can be a great tool for reducing sentencing or avoiding jail time, especially when the criminal defendant was undeniably guilty of the crime.

Plea bargaining can be available in all types of criminal cases, including:

  • Drug offenses;
  • Assault and battery charges;
  • Theft crimes;
  • Fraud charges; and
  • Drunk driving crimes.

Why Would a Criminal Defendant Ever Choose a Plea Agreement?

It is imperative that you consult with a criminal defense lawyer before you choose to go down the path of a plea bargain. A plea bargain generally involves admitting some amount of guilt, and thus generating a conviction and creating a criminal record based on that crime. There are a number of good reasons that criminal defendants choose to enter into a plea agreement. These reasons include:

  • Reduction of sentencing;
  • Reduction of the charges;
  • Quick resolution of the criminal proceeding;
  • Avoidance of jail time;
  • A plea agreement provides certainty, whereas a trial is up to a jury; and
  • Avoidance of unwanted publicity of the case (the news media can report on criminal cases before the court, and a criminal defendant might want to avoid the media spotlight).

If you think that a plea agreement is a good idea for you, you should ask a lawyer just to make sure that you are making a good decision. Your lawyer can go over the benefits and consequences of entering into a plea agreement and can offer you legal advice on how you should proceed in your case. Even if you do not like what your criminal lawyer has to say, the choice is still up to you. If you do choose to enter into a plea agreement, your criminal lawyer can negotiate on your behalf.

Is a Plea Agreement Right for You? Ask a Lawyer

If you have the opportunity to enter into a plea bargain, you should consult with an attorney first. You need to understand the benefits of a plea agreement, but also the potential consequences you might face in your particular situation. Our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorneys can help you. Reach out to us today for a consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073000050K5-5-6

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