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Rolling Meadows, IL criminal defense attorney plea bargain

If you have ever seen any kind of crime drama movie or TV show, you have probably seen some sort of heated scene take place in a courtroom where the main character’s attorney fights for his or her client’s freedom by attempting to prove his or her innocence. In reality, more than 97 percent of criminal cases are resolved by plea bargains, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). Plea bargains were created in response to a number of issues faced during criminal trials, such as the length of time it takes to go through a trial and the expenses associated with that legal process. However, some argue that plea bargains take away the right to a fair trial.

Understanding Plea Bargains

A plea bargain is an agreement made between the defendant (the person who is accused of the crime) and the prosecutor (the attorney representing the local, state, or federal government entity) as a replacement to a jury trial in a criminal case. The agreement usually involves the defendant pleading guilty or nolo contendere, “no contest” to some or all of the charges that were brought against him or her. Typically, plea bargains involve a reduction in the number of charges brought against the defendant, the severity of the charges, a reduction of the severity of the sentence, or a combination of any of the three.

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Illinois DUI defense lawyerIllinois is notorious for its strict drunk driving laws. In fact, the state is one of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s (MADD) top-rated states for DUI enforcement. Now they are incorporating a new sobriety program that lets drivers keep their license while on probation. Appealing as that might sound, there are some critical elements to the program that defendants should be aware of before taking a plea bargain.

More on the New Sobriety Program

DUI conviction – be it the first or fifth – typically results in a suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. Some are eligible for a special license that allows them to drive with a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), but not all. The new program, which is still in the testing phase, permits the driver to keep their license during their probation – but it comes at a cost. The driver must agree to random and routine breathalyzer tests throughout the day, even when they are at work, home, or in a social setting.

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Illinois DUI defense lawyerThough not available to every suspected DUI offender, plea bargains may offer a way for some to avoid certain consequences of a DUI conviction. However, it is crucial that defendants in DUI cases understand the implications before deciding to accept such an offer. The following information outlines some of the pros and cons of taking a plea bargain. It also explains where you can find advice when deciding if a plea deal might be the right option for you.

Examining the Possible Advantages of a Plea

When comparing the consequences of an Illinois DUI conviction and a possible plea agreement, there may be some benefits worth considering. Such benefits might include the possibility of:

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Posted on in Criminal Law

plea bargain, criminal defense, Arlington Heights Criminal Defense LawyerAlthough riveting courtroom dramas serve as the dramatic climax in countless movies, books, and TV shows, most criminal matters are resolved without such a high-stakes intellectual duel.

Plea bargaining first appeared in the 1880s, which is not very long ago when considering the fact that criminal trials date back to Biblical times. In one of the earliest recorded cases, Albert McKenzie, who pilfered $52.50 from his sewing machine company employer, pled guilty to misdemeanor embezzlement to avoid a felony trial. The practice grew steadily before exploding in the 1980s and 1990s, partially in response to the federal government’s "war on crime" that drastically increased the minimum sentences for even low-level offenses.

Today, although estimates vary, around 95 percent of criminal cases are disposed of by plea bargain. By comparison, again depending on the location, about 85 percent of civil cases are settled out of court.

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