When you’re facing white-collar criminal charges, such as those tied to fraud or embezzlement, you may be tempted to fight back as aggressively as possible to try to escape any penalties. While avoiding any punishment would be an ideal outcome, it’s not always realistic.
That’s why as you head into your case, you need to be honest with yourself and the facts of your situation. Only then can you figure out the path forward that gives you the best criminal defense outcome manageable under the circumstances.
Should you take a plea deal in your white-collar criminal case?
This is a question that accused individuals often ask. There’s no one answer because it depends on your circumstances and the facts of your case. However, before you make a decision pertaining to a plea deal, you should consider each of the following:
- The potential penalties: You’ll want to start by looking at the penalties that you could be facing if you take your case to trial and lose. Case law may be a helpful guide in figuring out what the normal sentencing range is, so make sure you have a clear picture of what’s at risk by taking your case forward to trial.
- The penalties in the plea agreement: Once you know what’s at stake by going to trial, you’ll want to consider how the plea bargain’s penalties stack up. If they’re much lighter, then you may be more inclined to take the deal. If there’s very little difference, then you might not have much to lose by going forward with your case.
- The strength of the prosecution’s evidence: You’ll want to thoroughly analyze the prosecution’s case. By doing so, you’ll have a better sense of your likelihood of succeeding at trial. If the evidence seems overwhelming, though, then you may want to think harder about negotiating a plea deal that protects your interests as fully as possible.
- Your defense options: Even if the evidence seems stacked against you, though, you should still vet your defense options before deciding on taking a plea deal. After all, there may be ways for you to block the prosecution’s evidence, which could give you a leg up.
- How quickly you want to resolve the matter: Sometimes the public pressure and the personal embarrassment of one of these cases are driving forces toward a quick resolution. If you want to put the matter behind you as fast as possible, then a plea deal is probably going to be your best bet. If you’re not worried about public scrutiny and the time it will take for your case to play out, then you may want to take another look at your likelihood of success if you go to trial.
There may be other considerations that are unique to your case. You just need to make sure that you’re looking at the big picture, diligently considering the facts, and being realistic about what’s possible under the circumstances. That way you can figure out the best way to approach your case.