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When to Take a Deal? Plea Bargains in Ohio

Posted On: May 13th, 2020 by Bradley J. Groene
Gavel on top of money

There’s no doubt about it – Facing criminal charges in Hamilton, County, Ohio is scary.

As the accused, you have to weigh your options and decide if your case is worth taking to trial. However, the law allows for alternatives, like plea agreement, which can potentially be very appealing: both for the prosecution and yourself.

Whatever the prosecution is offering, do not accept a plea deal until you’ve discussed the terms with an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can walk you through the plan, what it really means for you, and how it can impact your life. In Cincinnati, call attorney Brad Groene with Luftman, Heck & Associates at (513) 338-1890 for a free consultation.

Attorney Groene is available 24/7 and can get you the best possible plea deal in Ohio.

What is a Plea Bargain

A plea bargain is essentially a negotiation process between the defense and the prosecution about charges and sentencing.

The idea is that you will plead guilty in exchange for a favorable sentence. When this happens, there is no need for the prosecution to move forward with your case or coordinating a lengthy trial. This saves the state time, money, and resources.

Many see plea agreements as a way to resolve this cases fast with less severe penalties. And while this is generally true, they still may result in criminal convictions. Since many do not understand the process, and a defendant may hastily agree to a plea without serious consideration.

How Do Plea Bargains Work in Ohio?

When the prosecution and the defense can arrive at an agreement, this represents a win-win for the justice system. In a lot of instances, cases can be resolved quickly and the person charged does not have to endure an uncertain and lengthy trial.

But how does a plea agreement work?

Negotiations can begin with either the prosecution or the defense, but both parties have to agree for there to be a valid plea bargain.

The proposal normally includes one of or a combination of:

  • The defendant pleading guilty to a lesser charge;
  • The defendant pleading to only one or to fewer charges; or
  • The defendant pleads to the offense with the prosecutor recommending a lenient sentence.

In many cases, a plea bargain requires the approval of the court. For example, if the defendant is to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence, the court can reject the recommendation of the prosecution. On the other hand, the prosecutor is vested with the authority to drop charges and substitute them for lesser charges.

Mostly, Cincinnati plea bargain negotiations are conducted behind closed doors. The details of the deal are not revealed to the public until the prosecutor announces it in open court. However, as victim rights groups become more vocal, the plea bargain process will likely have to include some input of those closely affected by the crime.

What to Consider When Accepting a Plea Deal

A plea deal might seem very attractive in light of the maximum possible sentence you might face if found guilty.

Many defendants sometimes too eagerly accept plea deals without taking the following into consideration:

  • Jail time is still jail time. Although plea bargains result in lesser sentencing, if you cannot avoid time behind bars, you should seriously consider the deal. There are grave consequences to going to jail, and you will need to prepare yourself mentally and financially.
  • You may not be able to change your mind. Most plea bargains negotiations will include a waiver of your rights to appeal. Accordingly, a change of mind later or even the unearthing of new evidence will not help if you agree to a plea bargain. It is, therefore, important that you take this into consideration when making your decision.
  • Post-conviction consequences. Once you do the time for the crime, there are still consequences that linger on even long after your conviction. Once release, you could face limited employment opportunities, restricted access to educational institutions, and lack of voting rights. Additionally, some convictions can have immigration consequences. It is best to discuss every and all possible post-conviction issues that may arise with a criminal defense lawyer.

The decision to accept a plea bargain is a big one. There is no room for error, ignorance, or a change of mind. It is critical that you discuss your options with your attorney before pleading guilty.

How Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help in Court

As a criminal defense lawyer with a wealth of experience handling plea negotiation, Brad Groene is on your side. He will guide you through the Cincinnati criminal law process and get you legal representation you need.

A conviction can have severe consequences for your future, and before you make a decision about a plea bargain in Ohio, you should speak to a lawyer who will provide you with sound legal advice. Call (513) 338-1890 now and schedule a free consultation.

Bradley Groene made an exceptionally difficult situation much easier to handle. He kept me informed of everything that was going to happen and got results for my case far better than I could have hoped for. I would highly recommend him for anyone who finds themselves in legal troubles.