Maryland & Virginia Criminal Justice Judicial Process
The criminal justice system is a complex, confusing, and oftentimes traumatic experience, especially for the accused and convicted. Laws and procedures differ from state to state, plus the federal government has their own set of rules and regulations.
The plea bargain process in Virginia and Maryland varies according to the court and jurisdiction. Some courts require you to wait until a specific criminal proceeding before a plea bargain can made. In some cases, the prosecutor may offer you a plea bargain after your drunk-driving arrest and before the formal criminal charges have been filed. The court may refuse to accept a plea of guilty to any lesser offense included in the charge upon which the accused is charged, but in misdemeanor and felony cases the court shall not refuse to accept a plea of nolo contendere, a legal term that comes from the Latin phrase for “I do not wish to contend.”
A plea bargain in Virginia and Maryland is settled upon by both the prosecutor and the suspect. In many cases that involve a plea bargain, the defendant will also agree to testify against one or more people in order to receive a less severe penalty. A plea deal may result in reduced fines, reduced jail time, and a lesser charge on the criminal record. Some defendants would rather accept the certainty of being incarcerated for a shorter amount of time than to risk leaving their fortune up to a jury.
In real-life, other considerations interrupt into the defendant’s decision. People charged with crimes are often fearful, angry, impatient, and/or upset. Spouses, parents, and friends all have opinions. Depending on the seriousness of the crime and the strength of the evidence against a suspect, a suspect can admit to a crime and receive a sentence right away rather than wait for a trial date.
Violations of federal law tend to carry heavier penalties than similar state statute violations in places like Maryland or Virginia. If you are convicted of a federal crime and the judge sentences you to jail time, you will serve a much greater portion of your sentence than if you were arrested under a state’s law.
If you are about to become involved in any legal proceedings in the state of Virginia, you should be aware that aggressive, knowledgeable legal representation is usually the key to achieve a favorable outcome.
The entire basis of the argument against plea bargaining says that criminals should not testify or have anything to do with the prosecution because they were involved with the crime. We fail to realize that without plea bargaining many criminals would never be punished for their crimes at all. It is as simple as that. A plea bargain is, by definition, a compromise.
When you are investigated or arrested for a crime, it helps to be well-read about your case and your charges in order to make the best decisions regarding your defense. Each case is unique, and a Maryland or Virginia criminal attorney from our firm is equipped to explain the intricacies of your individual situation and how various defense strategies may affect the outcome of your case.
If you need help with this type of case in Fairfax, City of Fairfax, Prince William (Manassas), Fauquier (Warrenton), Loudoun (Leesburg), Caroline, Stafford, Spotsylvania (Fredericksburg), Chesterfield, Henrico, Arlington, Richmond, Alexandria, Warren (Front Royal), Clarke, Shenandoah, King George, Charles City, Frederick (Winchester), Fredericksburg, Gloucester, Hanover, Hopewell, James City, King & Queen, King William, New Kent, Newport News, Petersburg, Prince George, Rappahannock, York, call our law firm immediately for help and speak to a lawyer about your options. In Maryland, if you need help with this type of an issue in Montgomery County, Charles County (Waldorf), Rockville, Bethesda, Howard County, Ellicott City or Frederick, do not hesitate to call us for a consultation.
The SRIS Law Group can help you best possible outcome based on the facts of your case. If you wish to consult an SRIS Law Group, P.C. attorney, call us at 855-696-3348.