Plea Deals for Different Virginia Offenses
The majority of criminal cases in Virginia, and much of the U.S., are resolved through plea bargaining for a few reasons. It reduces the uncertainty and risk for the prosecutor and you, as the defendant. Plus, it takes some of the burden off a busy court system that may have a backlog of cases, so other matters can be decided quickly. While you should discuss the possibility of a plea deal and other criminal defense issues with your attorney, there are different circumstances where negotiating may be beneficial.
Plea Bargaining in a Virginia Traffic Case:
A matter involving a traffic violation is one of the most common cases for a plea deal. With the huge volume on the court’s docket, it’s hard to think about a judge hearing all of them. This is why prosecutors will typically try to work out a deal, with many of them being favorable to the motorist. In Virginia, there will be fines, but the DMV points system is a big concern. A plea bargain can keep yours to a minimum, which can have a positive impact on your driving record and insurance premiums.
Making a Plea Deal in a Misdemeanor:
Under Virginia law, plea bargaining a misdemeanor falls into two categories:
- Deferred Disposition: Some cases are defined by statute, such as marijuana possession or shoplifting. On others, you and your attorney may come to an agreement to drop the criminal charges – if you meet certain conditions. Avoiding criminal trouble, engaging in community service, completing an educational session, or probation might be required as part of your plea deal.
- Deal to Reduce or Eliminate Jail Time: Where deferred disposition isn’t available or you don’t qualify because of prior history, you may still be able to negotiate to reduce or avoid imprisonment. There may be conditions attached to these plea deals as well.
Plea Bargaining for Virginia Felony Charges:
Pleading down a felony case is more difficult and complicated than traffic or misdemeanor charges. Thousands of dollars in fines and several years in prison are at stake. It’s important to discuss your case with an attorney before attempting to resolve a felony case by a plea deal.
Consult with an Attorney to Ensure Best Results
Agreeing a plea deal is just one of your options when faced with criminal charges, but there may be defenses to present to a judge. The attorneys at Shannon & Bedois, P.C. have the experience necessary to help you negotiate a plea bargain and will fight for your rights in court. Please contact or call us at (757) 228-5529 for more information on plea deals for Virginia crimes.