When you face a criminal charge in New York, it is important to understand your options. Your approach could differ depending on what charge you are up against and what your criminal record looks like.

One potential way to handle a charge is by accepting a plea bargain. But is it a good option for your situation?

The cons of a plea bargain

Cornell Law School defines a plea bargain as an agreement between prosecutors and defendants. In this agreement, both parties have something to gain. The defendant – you, in this case – often get a lighter sentence. The plea bargain may include reduced charges or dropped charges. The prosecutors may request a lenient penalty. In exchange, you submit a guilty plea.

The cons of this option center around the fact that you are claiming guilt for at least one charge you face. This puts a criminal conviction on your record, which could have major impacts on your future ability to find housing or employment. If you are not guilty of the crime, it can certainly feel like an unfair exchange. Some even argue that plea bargains undermine constitutional rights.

The pros of a plea bargain

The pros involve the time it saves you and the reduced penalties. By accepting a plea bargain, you do not have to go through the court or wait for the sentencing of a jury. You will also face lighter sentences and less severe charges, which may suit you if chances of conviction by jury are high.

In the end, it is important to consult with a legal professional before taking or denying a plea bargain. They can provide insight on which works best for your situation.