When You Should Accept a Plea Bargain

When You Should Accept a Plea Bargain

If you are a criminal defendant there are a number of reasons why you may want to accept a plea bargain. More often than not, as a defendant you will get the chance, to negotiate a deal. This is because; the system would prefer to get an out of court settlement. This ensures that the courts are not clogged up with court cases. A court case can take a lot of time starting form days to months and in some cases years. Whereas once a plea bargain is put through, it gets processed in minutes.

The biggest benefit for a defendant to enter a plea bargain is to get a smaller sentence for a smaller charge, instead of losing a court case. Also as the result of a trial is unpredictable, a plea bargain gives both sides a better chance of controlling the end result.  Here is a look at how a plea bargain will work.

For Money Saving

If a private counsel is representing you then agreeing to a plea bargain can help you a lot of money on the lawyer fees. This is because it takes far longer to get a case to the stage of a trial vs. getting a plea negotiated.

Getting a faster resolution

It is stressful when you are charged with a crime, especially if you go to trial. Accepting a plea bargain can help you get a faster resolution for your case.

Getting free from jail

If arrested a defendant is held in custody then accepting a plea bargain is a faster way to get out of jail, especially if you are unable to do so on your own. This could be because cannot afford the bail amount, or have the right to bail, or not qualified for release based on your own character. In any of these cases a plea bargain depending on the type of crime, you can either get released completely, be released on probation and have to complete some community service acts. The last option is that you may have to serve some time, which would still be less than what you would have to undergo if you went to court.

Reducing the number of charges on one’s record

A defendant may be facing a number of charges on their record as a result of an offense. If all of them are taken to court they may result in a far severe sentence. Hence pleading guilty to a few, may persuade the other side to drop a few other charges as they would want to wrap up the case sooner as well. This can also help in the future if you are convicted again for an offense. For e.g. if you have been charged with a DUI, then accepting a plea bargain for reckless driving can help you if you are again arrested for a DUI.

More reasons for you to accept plea bargains.

  • Convictions can discredit your character as a witness
  • You cannot have a weapon or in some cases even vote
  • Employers will refuse to hire you
  • You would have to give up some professional license
Resolving Custody Issues Through Mediation

Resolving Custody Issues Through Mediation

For divorced parent need to work together to create a fair parenting plan, the perfect process to make it happen is through child custody mediation. Since it can be difficult to make decisions about what is best for a child as divorced parents, this type of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) brings in a neutral third party to facilitate discussion and help parents communicate and compromise. The ideal environment to discuss delicate and complicated matters, such as child custody, is a peaceful and non-combative one, and mediation fosters this.

Preparing for Mediation

There are some important things you should do to prepare for the session if you and your former spouse plan to use mediation to determine child custody arrangements. Having an open mind and being ready to listen are important aspects of the process that both parents should have. If you do, the chances that your case will end up in court are reduced, and mediation is much more likely to succeed. This process is almost always better than court because it leaves parents in control of the situation and is less expensive. Settling child custody issues this way also paves the way for the future and ensures that they will be able to communicate and make important child-rearing even without third-party intervention.

Remember the Purpose of Mediation

In addition to having an open mind, come prepared with details about your schedule and your child’s schedule. Before the first meeting, each parent can create a few potential schedules that they can present and discuss to each other. The goal is to keep the process focused on what is best for your child. Any hard feelings you might have for your former spouse, as well as your personal needs, will have to be put aside.

Put Your Children First

It is also important to separate the issues surrounding your divorce proceedings, especially those that are still fresh and in motion, from those involved in your child custody mediation. Custody mediation is intended to focus on the time your child spends with each of you, so for the time being, disregard issues concerning child support.

Extra attention will also have to be paid to issues regarding children with special needs. If there are medical concerns, as well as any details regarding special classes, recreational activities, or daycare, it is necessary to bring information from your child’s pediatrician. Through mediation, child custody becomes a highly customizable plan that is as unique as the family designing it.

Divorce is not easy and it is further complicated if there are children involved. However, if you work together, you can create the best arrangement that ensures the children spend time with both parents in a safe and healthy environment.