I have been offered a plea bargain instead of going to trial. In State Court, Should I accept the plea bargain?
It is impossible to provide a general answer to this question, although most cases are generally resolved through a plea bargain. In deciding whether to accept the plea bargain, the two most important things is to make sure you understand all the consequences of the plea bargain and to make sure you have confidence that your lawyer is acting with your best interest in mind.
Some things to make sure you understand before accepting a plea bargain in state court:
(1) What will you be admitting to?
(2) Does the plea bargain provide for a specific sentence?
(3) If there is a jail sentence, what kind of good time credit will you be eligible for?
(4) If there is a prison sentence, how will the parole laws affect your release eligibility?
(5) If there is a prison sentence and you have not previously been sentenced to prison, did your lawyer explore other options such as “shock probation?”
(6) If you are not a United States citizen, will the plea bargain affect your ability to remain in or re-enter the United States?
(7) Will you be required to attend counseling, complete community service, submit to random drug tests, wear an electronic monitor, or register as a sex offender?
The bottom line: ask questions.