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Bouldin Law Firm
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Should I Take a Plea Deal?

Should I take a plea deal?  This is probably the most commonly asked question by a criminal defense client to their attorney.  The attorney generally can bring the deal but is seldom in a position to advise whether or not to take a deal. When should i take a plea deal?  You should accept a plea deal when you are guilty and the likelihood of a sentence following a conviction will be greater than the bargained for deal.  For example: if you were weaving on the road, ran a red light, were pulled over after drinking a 12 pack of beer; then failed all field sobriety tests and then blew a .149 on the breathalyzer, the likelihood of a conviction for DUI is very high.  If the offer on a plea is the state minimums for license suspension, no jail time, minimum fine and other expenses, it may be a good deal.  If you also had an accident, the likelihood of jail time or extended suspension increases if the case proceeds to trial. What if I have probated time in addition to the new crime?  The prosecution holds a number of cards when you also have probated time hanging over your head.  If they revoke the probated time, any new charge is likely going to run consecutive to the probated time.  That means, if you have 3 years of probated time and you have a new crime where the time will be 5 years, consecutive time means a total of 8.  A plea deal that involves concurrent time (5+3=5) would be hard to pass up in such a case. What if I am not guilty?  If you are not guilty and continue with your innocence, you still need to understand the likelihood of conviction.  If the facts stack up against you, the likelihood of conviction must be taken into account.  For example, if the plea deal is for probation and you are looking at a 10 year sentence if convicted, you must balance that with the likelihood of a conviction.  Alternatively stated, you must balance the probation (bird in the hand) with the possibility that you will still be convicted and sentence to a lengthy prison sentence. This is why it is important to choose an attorney you trust.  An attorney can give you an accurate assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case and will generally give you a range of odds of winning, losing or something in between.  For example, there is a chance that you are still convicted of a lesser charge. For a consultation in Norther Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected] or call 581-MIKE, 859-581-6453.


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