When Does the Plea Bargaining Process Start?
Many, if not most, criminal cases will go through the process of plea bargaining. This is the process in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty of the crime charged or a lesser one in exchange for a lighter sentence or to have other charges dismissed. Depending on the facts of your case, your criminal defense lawyer in Grand Rapids might recommend a plea bargain or might not. In some cases, you can plead guilty in exchange for early release from jail, but this deal is not usually in the defendant’s best interest.
The Initial Appearance
Even if you want to plead guilty at your initial appearance before the judge with the help of your criminal defense lawyer in Grand Rapids, it is not likely you will be able to do so at such an early juncture. In most areas, the judge or magistrate is not able to enter a plea of guilty to a felony or serious misdemeanor. Given that at this early stage you will not have much information about the charges or the possible defenses available to you, it is not a good idea to plead guilty at this stage.
Your arraignment is usually where plea bargaining between the prosecutor and your Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Attorney begins. Some prosecutors might be under pressure to get your case resolved quickly, which is advantageous if you are also seeking a plea bargain. Do not take any steps without having a criminal defense lawyer in Grand Rapids present to help you. Call Miel & Carr PLC at 616-773-2945.