A male lawyer is signing a plea agreement with a client in a fraud case

Criminal Plea Bargain in Michigan

A plea bargain is a compromise between the defendant and the prosecutor. A defense attorney will discuss with the prosecutor why your charges should be reduced. Should you plead guilty, the prosecutor will agree to lessen your sentence.

Plenty of assault, DUI, and other criminal cases are resolved by plea bargaining. Often, the prosecutor wants to push your case out the door as quickly as possible. Trials are expensive and time-consuming. As a result, the prosecutor will offer to reduce your charges if you plead guilty.

We’ll look at three options for how a defendant may plead.

Guilty Plea

A guilty plea is what is sounds like: you admit guilt and your case does not go to trial. While this may sound bad at first glance, sometimes a guilty plea is the best option.

At the beginning of your case, the prosecutor may attempt to charge you with the greatest charges possible. If the prosecutor has a strong case against you, pleading guilty could be the best possible scenario.

While everyone seeks a verdict of “not guilty,” a plea bargain is sometimes the best option

Not Guilty Plea

A not-guilty plea will take your case to trial, either by jury or judge. Pleading not guilty gives you the chance at beating your charges. However, pleading not guilty comes with a risk. If you are convicted, there will be no reduced or minimized sentences.

Once you enter a not-guilty plea, the judge will set bond and a date for the pre-trial conference.

No Contest

Pleading no contest, or “nolo contendre,” is when the defendant stands mute and neither affirms nor denies the charges brought against them.

MCL 767.37 says that a no-contest plea is entered the same exact way as a guilty plea. The key difference is that a no-contest plea has the benefit of avoiding direct admissions of guilt.

In a guilty plea, the defendant acknowledges the offense committed on the record. This means that the statement made while pleading guilty can be used against them in a civil suit.

Deciding How To Plea

Deciding how to plea is a very difficult decision. An experienced local criminal defense lawyer can help you in deciding what the best course of action is.

Obtaining an attorney experienced with criminal cases can help you best decide how to plea. We’ll sit down with you to discuss the facts surrounding your case. With your help, we’ll strive to find the ideal resolution for your situation.

Speak with a Marquette Attorney About Your Criminal Plea Bargain

Berger Law works with you and your interests. We will work hard to negotiate the best possible deal for you. Our investigator has a rapport with the prosecutor’s office and could persuade the prosecution to cut you a better deal

However, we also understand if you want to fight in court. No matter your decision regarding a criminal plea bargain in Marquette, we’ll respect and tailor our strategy to fit your needs.

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