Plea Negotiations - Indiana Criminal Litigation Process
One potential resolution to a criminal case is an agreement that is reached between the State and the Defendant that is satisfactory to both sides. This agreement is called a Plea Agreement.
A defense attorney has two jobs: To review and assess the case in preparation for trial while at the same time negotiating with the State for an acceptable outcome. It is important to the process of plea negotiation that the defense attorney know the case well and that he knows his client's goals for the case.
The decision as to whether to accept a plea or to proceed to trial is one that must be made by the Defendant. Defense counsel can advise as to the positive and negative aspects of each option, but ultimately the choice should be made by the Defendant.
It is important to know the consequences of a plea. Not only the amount of Jail or probation time, but also what future consequences the conviction can have on the Defendant. Felony convictions can cause difficulties in gaining employment, can result in restrictions with regard to firearms, voting, and the holding of public office. A skilled criminal defense attorney reviews these consequences with the defendant so that there are no surprises down the road.