In some criminal cases, defendants who have been accused of violent crimes may be offered a plea deal. Typically, this involves the prosecution offering the defendant a deal in which they plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for a lighter sentence.
For those dreading a trip through the state’s criminal justice system, plea agreements can be very attractive, especially since the typical sentence for a violent crime conviction can be harsh. For example, the penalties associated with a first-degree murder charge in New York include:
- Imprisonment for up to 25 years
- Life imprisonment
- Death sentence
Defendants look at these possible consequences and compare them to the potential outcome of accepting a plea deal. Often, taking a plea deal for involvement in violent crimes is indeed the right decision. However, accepting such an agreement without obtaining experienced and skilled legal counsel is not recommended.
As attorneys who have a successful record of defending those accused of violent crimes, we urge you to seek a legal opinion before you accept a plea deal. A defense attorney has the experience necessary to look at the details of the plea agreement. They can then recommend the best course of action based on the details of your case.
We know that you are afraid and unsure of what lies ahead. However, making hasty, uninformed decisions about your circumstances is nearly always a dangerous way to move forward with your case. Instead, take a moment to evaluate your situation with guidance from a legal professional to ensure that you obtain the most favorable legal outcome possible.