Far too many innocent people fall into a trap that puts them behind bars, possibly for years. It often starts when someone is interviewed by law enforcement. He or she feels comfortable speaking to investigators without first consulting with an attorney.
Despite being innocent, anyone can slip up and say the wrong thing. In addition, police can lie — legally — in order to coax someone into admitting to a crime.
The real challenge of proving someone’s innocence once they have spoken to police comes when the case goes to trial. In order to close a case as quickly as possible and prevent the court system from becoming jammed with criminal cases, the prosecutor will often offer a plea bargain in exchange for a guilty plea.
What is a plea bargain?
In a plea bargain, the prosecutor may reduce:
- The number of criminal convictions
- The severity of convictions
- The sentencing
Flaws in plea bargaining
Plea bargains are flawed for the following reasons:
- Poor investigation: When criminal cases move too quickly, important details surrounding a criminal case can be missed. This can compromise your attorney’s ability to prepare a strong defense and prevent a thorough investigation that could prove your innocence.
- Biased prosecution: Plea bargains can allow overbearing prosecutors to take advantage of a defendant’s vulnerabilities, eventually causing them to cave in and admit guilt to a crime they may not have committed. An innocent person who accepts a guilty plea will most likely face imprisonment and/or pay a fine.
- Bad for the justice system: In the long run, plea bargains can hurt the justice system, as prosecutors focus more on negotiating deals rather than using real evidence to win a trial.
Why you should always consult with an attorney
For the most part, plea bargains put criminal defendants at a disadvantage. Once you accept a plea bargain, it is game over — there is no turning back. You won’t have an attorney in your corner fighting for you and you won’t be able to appeal your criminal conviction.
If you have been accused of a crime, it is crucial that you exercise your right to remain silent. Attempting to negotiate or argue your way out of a criminal conviction could land you in even more trouble. It’s best to consult with an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Attorney Amanda Webb has a wealth of knowledge handling all types of criminal cases. She’ll explore all avenues to help you devise a solid defense. Even if you’re found guilty based on hard evidence, she may be able to negotiate a sentence modification. Don’t wait. Contact The Webb Firm, P.C. today to discuss your options.