If you are charged with a crime, it doesn’t mean that you will be convicted by a jury. Furthermore, even if you are convicted, there is no guarantee that you’ll be sentenced to the harshest possible penalties associated with a given charge. This is because an Ohio prosecutor may be willing to negotiate a plea deal in your case.
Why would a prosecutor offer a plea deal?
On any given day, there are dozens of cases that need to be heard in each courtroom around the state. Therefore, the state has an incentive to offer deals to those who are charged with minor offenses so that authorities can focus on cases that directly impact public safety. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a plea deal if you’re charged with a felony. A prosecutor who isn’t confident in the evidence against you may be willing to reduce the charge in exchange for a guilty plea.
The potential benefits of a plea deal
Taking a plea deal on a minor offense may allow you to avoid jail time. If you are unable to afford bail, it may allow you to avoid spending weeks in custody while your case navigates its way through the legal system. Depending on the specifics of your matter, a prosecutor may agree to reduce a misdemeanor charge to an infraction.
Generally speaking, infractions won’t interfere with your ability to obtain housing, employment or an education. However, there is a chance that they will make it harder to obtain auto, home or other types of insurance policies. Furthermore, if you don’t pay fines, court costs or other financial penalties assessed at the time of your conviction, you may face additional legal issues. A criminal defense attorney may be able to provide more insight into the implications of accepting a plea deal.