Every good criminal defense attorney knows when to fight and when to fold. However, a large part of what we do is negotiate plea bargains that will serve our clients' best interests.
A good plea bargain may entail a plea to a lesser charge, or perhaps a reduced sentence.
As I have explained previously, a plea bargain should be sought if the evidence against the accused is strong. For example, if the accused is charged with burglary
and the evidence includes fingerprints, eyewitnesses, the accused being in possession of stolen property, and a confession
- it would be wise for the criminal lawyer to work out a plea bargain on behalf of this client. That is because with this type of evidence, the liklihood of conviction is high.
First of all, pleading guilty to a sexually-related felony may make you a sex offender. That means that for the rest of your life, you will have to register as a sexual offender. Failure to register as a sexual offender
is a felony.
Secondly, you will bear the stigma of having a sex crime in your criminal history.
A good plea bargain for a sex crime may be a reduced charge. Common charge reductions for sex crimes are felony battery
or child abuse
, if the alleged victim is a minor. Aggravated assault
may also be a possible plea option.
The benefit to a reduced charge is that the accused will not become a sex offender. Convictions for felony battery, child abuse, or aggravated assault will not make the accused a sex offender.
The downside is that neither of these three felony charges can be sealed
. Felony battery, child abuse, and aggravated assault are all disqualifying offenses and cannot come off of your criminal record.
Another negative may be the conviction. If a withhold of adjudication
is not an option, a plea to any of these three charges will make you a convicted felon.
If you or a loved one is charged with a sex crime, both your freedom and your reputation are at stake. Contact me
to discuss your case. I handle criminal matters in Miami-Dade and Broward.