Federal Criminal Attorneys Say Plea Bargains are Red Flags for Defendants

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New laws lengthening the sentencing of criminal convictions give prosecutors the ability to coerce defendants into accepting plea bargains with guilty pleas and shorter sentences. LibertyBell Law Group attorneys speculate that defendants that don’t have the ability to pay for a criminal defense attorney and go to trial are much more likely to accept a plea bargain because the penalty in sentencing for going to trial and losing is quite severe.

Prosecutors now have an overwhelming amount of influence that’s almost on par with judges

LibertyBell Law Group criminal defense attorneys are troubled regarding new laws that lengthen the sentencing of convictions and motivate prosecutors to extract guilty pleas from defendants by offering plea bargains. The concern stems from the premise that offering plea bargains to vulnerable defendants is a ploy of aggressive prosecutors in search of fast convictions.

According to a report by the National Center for State Courts that assessed data from nine states, one in 50 felony cases now make it to trial. Criminal attorneys and prosecutors use plea bargaining for the defendant as it is flexible and alleviates the workload. However, there is a compelling majority of criminal defendants pleading guilty. Jury trials are now the exception in criminal courts and negotiating pleas have become the norm.

Often, plea bargains are presented to defendants as an alternative to going to trial and an opportunity to avoid a lengthier sentence. But defense attorneys argue that plea bargains are not always in the best interest of their clients. According to federal criminal attorneys at LibertyBell Law Group, offering plea bargains is a familiar tactic of fanatical prosecutors who aim to leverage their power in court.

“Prosecutors now have an overwhelming amount of influence that’s almost on par with judges,” says Gina Tennen, Executive Managing Attorney at the Burbank, CA firm. “New, tougher and mandatory sentencing gives prosecutors lots of power to persuade defendants to accept plea bargain deals with lesser charges and penalties.”

Tennen’s comments sync up with that of many defense attorneys, characterized by the opinion that rather than succumbing to the weight of prosecutors, judges should have the opportunity to appraise the facts in each case in order to ensure the fairest possible outcome. “The new laws also don’t allow judges to use their own discretion and evaluate each case on a case-by-case basis,” she said.

Tennen explains that the most viable solution for a defendant is to hire an experienced attorney who is prepared to face prosecutors head-on and preserve the defendant’s right to a fair trial. “Now more than ever, a criminal defense attorney is absolutely vital to protect yourself and go head-to-head with overzealous prosecutors,” she says.

If you are facing criminal charges, fighting for your right to a fair trial is imperative. Rather than letting intimidating prosecutors threaten this right, contact federal criminal attorneys who can ensure your case is presented before a judge.


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Linda Garcia
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