In a lot of assault cases in Houston, it’s not unusual for the prosecutor to offer the defendant a lighter sentence or a lesser charge in exchange for a plea of guilty or no contest. This is what is called a plea bargain or plea agreement.
Being charged with assault in Houston is a serious matter. Depending on the charges, you could be facing a lengthy jail sentence or hefty fines. This could result in you losing your job, home or family. To ensure the best outcome in your predicament, you need to hire an experienced Houston assault attorney to represent you as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to formulate an effective legal strategy based on the evidence in your case.
In some instances, that best outcome is your attorney to negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecutor to reduce the charges against you, but that’s not always the case.
Why Do the Courts Offer Plea Agreements?
Why would a prosecutor offer a defendant a plea bargains? Basically, plea agreements save the court time and money. Criminal trials can take weeks or even months to complete. Most courts have a huge backlog of cases.
In an effort to move things along, the prosecutor may offer defendants plea bargains as an alternative to a judge or jury trial. A plea agreement also gives both teams more control over the case, since the outcome of a jury trial is always impossible to predict.
Why Might You Consider a Plea Bargain for Assault Charges?
There are many reasons why a defendant may want to consider accepting a plea bargain. They include:
- Lower legal costs
- Quick resolution
- Unlike a trial, you will be able to control the outcome
- A less-serious conviction on their record
- Probation instead of jail time
- Reduced jail time and/or fines
- Preserve their privacy (court proceedings are in the public record)
- Avoiding having potentially socially stigmatizing charges on their record
A Plea Bargain Isn’t Always a Good Deal
Should you go to trial or accept a plea bargain? At first, a plea bargain may seem like a convenient resolution to your case, but making a deal isn’t always to your advantage.
The best bet is to follow the advice of your lawyer. Don’t let a prosecutor brow beat you into accepting any deal they offer you. Your attorney will be able to negotiate the best deal possible based on the case against you, and depending on the evidence against you, they may advise you to reject an agreement and take your case to trial.
Speak to an Experienced Attorney about Your Houston Assault Charges
Have you been arrested on assault charges in Houston? Have you been offered a plea bargain by the prosecutor and are unsure if you should accept? Lisa Shapiro Strauss is a former county prosecutor turned Houston assault lawyer who has helped many, many clients in your predicament. Her extensive experience on both sides of the aisle gives her the unique insight and legal skills to obtain the best possible results for her clients.
The sooner you get legal representation the better. Call the law offices of Lisa Shapiro Strauss at (713) 449-9922 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.