If you are facing criminal charges in Ohio, part of the pre-trial process will usually involve the prosecutor offering you a deal if you plead guilty. This is a plea bargain. You have the option of taking the plea bargain or going to trial. The American Psychological Association explains that with a plea bargain, you know your sentence because it is part of the deal. If you decide against the plea bargain, you take your chances at trial where you could be found guilty and end up with a harsher sentence than the plea bargain. Of course, you also run the chance of being found not guilty or getting a lighter sentence at trial.
Because the outcome of a trial is really unknown, it can make a plea bargain look more attractive. You may feel like you have a better option with the deal the prosecutor is offering you than you may get at trial. You do get the chance to talk over your options with your attorney, but the ultimate decision is yours to make.
This can often lead to some struggle as you try to figure out what is the best choice. Do you take the plea bargain and the known outcome or do you risk it and go to trial where you could get a worse sentence but where there is a chance of you being found not guilty? It all really depends on the details of your case and how strong your attorney feels your defense is against what the prosecutor will bring to the table.
Sometimes taking the plea bargain is the right idea, but sometimes it is not. You should always carefully think about accepting any deal, though. You want to ensure it is the best decision you could make. This information is for education and is not legal advice.