Have you ever known someone who pleaded guilty to a crime even though he or she was truly innocent? If so, you might end up facing the same decision at some point in your life if you are ever facing criminal charges. People will often accept plea bargains, which means they plead guilty to a crime, even when they are innocent, and here are three reasons people do this.
To avoid a trial
Pleading guilty to a crime you did not commit often comes in the form of a plea bargain. If the prosecution in the case wants to settle the case quickly and outside of a trial, they may offer a plea bargain. If you accept, you will not have to go through the process of a criminal trial. Instead, you settle the case through the plea bargain at a regular court hearing. The benefit of this is that it settles the case quickly and avoids the entire process of a trial. A lot of people will plead guilty to a crime they did not commit for this reason alone.
To receive lesser charges
Secondly, if you are willing to plead guilty to the crime in question, you will not even have to plead guilty to the actual, original crime. Instead, the prosecutor will lower the charges in exchange for your guilty plea. For example, if you have two pending charges against you, the court might drop it to just one charge. Accepting the plea bargain will therefore give you the chance to have lesser charges against you.
To reduce the risks
The risks are extremely high when you are facing criminal charges and decide to go to trial for them. The risks of going to trial and getting an innocent verdict for a crime you did not commit are huge. In other words, if you go to trial, the court might find you guilty of all the charges against you. You will have no way to get the court to lower them or drop them. If they find you guilty, then you are guilty. This is a huge risk to take if you do not want to accept the plea bargain, and this is one of the top reasons people will plead guilty for crimes they did not commit.
If you are charged with a crime and not sure how to plead, you should take advice from a criminal defense lawyer. You can set up a meeting with a lawyer by contacting a criminal law office in your city.