You might be tempted to accept a plea bargain to lower your sentence. But, what happens if it doesn’t work out? Can it be reversed? And, most importantly, how will it affect my future?
Many questions accompany a plea bargain, and you should have all your answers before making such a crucial decision. You should be well-informed of the outcome of a plea bargain; here, experienced defense attorney Rahul Balaram explains the possible implications of a plea bargain.
Can a Plea Bargain Be Appealed?
A plea bargain is supposed to be a final deal, but there are a few ways you can challenge a sentence in the future. By agreeing to a plea bargain, you agree not to have a trial and admit that you are guilty of whatever crime you are charged with. A plea bargain reduces your chances of being given a more condemning sentence with a trial. Still, there will also be no jury, hearings, or other opportunities to prove your innocence. Consequently, a judge will determine your sentence based off of this guilty admission.
A plea bargain cuts to the chase and bypasses any other complicated legal processes; however, many regret their decision later. During the conviction, the judge will notify you that their decision is final, but you and your lawyer may be able to challenge the sentence afterward, as long as you don’t agree to the condition that you cannot appeal a sentence later as part of your plea bargain.
I’ve Agreed to a Plea Bargain – Is There Anything I Can Do Now?
Even though a plea bargain has been made final and you may think you have no other options or ability to appeal, it is still a good idea to file a notice of appeal. You can file it as soon as ten days after the sentence is enforced, but it will uphold any chances of being able to appeal your sentence in the future. You can always withdraw your notice of appeal later, but time is limited, and you must act fast if you think you may want to try to change your sentence.
That’s why it is essential to be careful about what exactly you agree to in your plea bargain. Having a lawyer who knows the nuances of a plea bargain is important and can protect you from consenting to deals that make it easier for them, but not for you. A competent defense attorney like Rahul Balaram will work with you to preserve the ability to appeal your plea bargain in the future by making that a part of the deal.
Lastly, If the time frame for appealing has closed or no conditions were worked into the deal to challenge a sentence, there is still one more option. You may be able to petition your sentence with a habeas corpus motion. There are many reasons why you might do this, such as new or hidden evidence that proves you were innocent. Whatever your reasoning is, if a judge determines it is sufficient, they may grant you a new trial or a plea deal.
About Rahul Balaram
After passing the bar exam in 2015, Rahul Balaram became a strong and competent Public Defender for Solano County. He has represented hundreds of clients and is constantly honing his skills as a trial attorney and expanding his legal knowledge. He has garnered a highly respectable reputation for his trial skills and takes pride in the excellent results he achieves for his clients. Recently, Rahul opened the Balaram Law Office in Santa Rosa. His excellent communication with his clients relieves their anxiety about the court system and lessens their confusion and frustration about the legal issues they face. He ensures that his clients are represented with dignity, compassion, and competence to the court and juries.