At the David W. Martin Law Group, our criminal defense attorneys in Spartanburg pride ourselves in providing our clients with all the legal information they need to make informed decisions about their cases.
That includes unique legal strategies for clients who plead not guilty and want to take their cases to trial, those who enter diversion programs to avoid convictions, and those whose best option is to take a plea bargain from the solicitor’s office.
It is important for all our clients to know that even if they know someone who has been arrested for a similar charge, their legal case is unique, which is why our Spartanburg County defense attorneys customize each of our client’s cases to pursue the best outcome for their personalized needs.
If you have been charged with a crime in South Carolina, here is what you need to know about plea bargains, plea deals, or plea agreements.
What is a South Carolina Plea Bargain?
South Carolina plea bargains are legally binding agreements made between the solicitor’s office and the defendant in a criminal case.
Plea bargains are often negotiated with the solicitor’s office where the state will agree to drop or reduce criminal charges and make sentencing recommendations to the judge in return for the defendant pleading guilty to the charges.
Criminal defense attorneys only advise their clients to take a plea arrangement if it is the best outcome for their unique charges.
This allows the legal matter to be finalized without the court’s intervention, saving them the time and expense of a trial.
Who Negotiates a Plea Bargain in South Carolina?
Plea negotiations in South Carolina can be initiated by the defense attorney or the solicitor’s office, but the final details must be agreed upon by both parties before it becomes valid.
The negotiations can begin by proposing fewer charges altogether potentially dropping one or more to accommodate an agreement or asking the defendant to plead to lesser charges for a more desirable or lenient sentence.
Plea bargains must be approved by the criminal court in which the case is heard before it can become official.
If the judge sees fit, he or she has the power to reject any plea deal agreement and send the case to trial
Our Spartanburg criminal defense lawyers explain each detail of the plea bargain process to our clients if we feel as though agreeing to an arrangement with the solicitor’s office is their best option, as the outcome is final and may consequently lead to a criminal record.
Why Would Someone Agree to a Plea Bargain in South Carolina?
The main reason a criminal defendant may want to pursue a plea deal in South Carolina is that it presents the best possible outcome for their charges based on the evidence the solicitor’s office has to use against them at trial.
Others simply want to put their criminal charges behind them without enduring trial delays that are stressful and continuously interrupting their lives and adding to their expenses.
Conversely, the solicitor’s office may offer a plea deal when they are reluctant to go to trial because they have little evidence or believe the strength of their case may deteriorate over time. When this is the case, it is usually accompanied by a plea bargain that is too good to pass up.
Plea bargains require serious thought and should always be reviewed by an experienced criminal defense lawyer before agreeing to the details.
Contact Our Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys in Spartanburg, South Carolina Today
If you have been charged with a crime in South Carolina, call our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Spartanburg today at 803-548-2468 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help you outline your criminal charges and customize your legal strategy to ensure your rights are protected throughout the proceedings.