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Be careful what you agree to through plea bargains

In most criminal cases, a resolution is reached between the prosecution and the accused through a plea agreement. Essentially, in exchange for a guilty plea, the prosecution will accept a sentence that is less than what is punishable under the law.  In a prior post, we broached the topic of whether the accused should take a plea deal. Basically, the decision centers on whether the accused can deal with the consequences of having an adverse result at trial.

Nevertheless, plea deals should not be taken lightly either. Through this post, we will explore the potential post-plea issues that can arise with a guilty plea. 

Will the record reflect a conviction? – Even though your plea deal may include probation (or a stayed sentence) instead of jail time, will your record still reflect that you pled guilty to a crime. This may be important if the particular crime may prevent you from obtaining a job or housing in the future.

Will I be subject to civil actions? – In some instances, a guilty plea may be a prima facie (first glance) showing that you were negligent, thus making a civil action against you easier to prove.

May I expunge a guilty plea? – A guilty plea, by itself, may not make the accused eligible to expunge the crime he or she was accused of. There must be specifically negotiated terms to the plea agreement in order to seek expungement.

If you have questions about the future effects of a guilty plea, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. 

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