What Is a Plea Bargain in Oklahoma?
This is Wagoner County lawyer Stuart Ericson. We’re gonna talk about plea bargains today. A plea bargain is where, the definition of it kind of is, you’re charged with a crime. A plea bargain is where the district attorney’s office, again, they are in control of the plea bargain. It’s not a judge, and it’s certainly not the defense.
The district attorney’s office, through their assistant DA, says, hey, you know, basically, the deal is this. The plea offer is this. And it can be, you know, a probationary sentence or prison. I mean, the deal may be, hey, if you plead guilty, we’ll give you 10 years. This sentence carries life. We review the case, 10 years is the offer. In another case, it may be a three-year probation. And it may be probation deferred, where you can get it later wiped off and expunged off your record, or a three-year suspended conviction, which is a conviction, and all of that. So a plea bargain is where the district attorney makes an offer to you.
Now, you know, most cases are settled by a plea bargain. Not every case goes to trial. They’re expensive, they’re time-consuming. Now, you have a right to a jury trial, and I’ve done many jury trials. So jury trials are very important. But plea bargains offer a certainty. You know, sometimes people think, I don’t know what a jury would do. They could convict me and send me to prison for a long time. I’ve got an offer here of probation. I’m not happy, I don’t like it. I’m not gonna like being on probation. But by me taking that deal, prison is off the table. And of course, the exception is if you violate your probation, then they can maybe try to send you to prison. So plea bargains are a big thing.
Should You Take a Plea Bargain or Go to Trial?
Sometimes plea bargains start high, and then as your defense attorney, I’d go, you know, give me a break. That’s a ridiculous plea bargain offer. How about you offer this? And then sometimes there’s a meeting in the middle. And many times, you know, the DA’s office will come down to a certain level, and as your defense attorney, I know that’s it. Now, a lot of times my clients will always want something better and better and better and better. And I tell them, you know, at some point, it’s just the lowest it’s gonna be. Like, they’re not gonna do any better.
So now the decision comes, do you take that deal or fight your case? Now, fighting your case means going to jury trial. And all that entails. So plea bargains are an important part. Some defense attorneys I know kind of sometimes even browbeat their clients. Like, you’d be an idiot not to take this. You have to take this, because of course, you know, it kind of resolves the case. There’s a lot of paperwork, and you enter your plea.
Get a Free Consultation Today
But, you know, I handle it. It’s your decision, it’s the client’s decision whether or not to take a plea bargain. You’ll get all my advice, all my experience, and all my advice on whether it’s a good deal or a bad deal, and what your other options are. But it’s up to you about whether or not to take a plea bargain. If you have questions about that, reach out to me, Stuart Ericson at wagonerlawyer.com.