FAQ 11: I was offered a plea bargain. Should I take it?
If you are offered a plea bargain and in some cases, you should take it and in other cases, you shouldn’t take it. It depends on the plea bargain, it depends on the case and that’s why it’s so important to come in and talk to an attorney. Every case is different.
People will call us a lot of times and ask us “I got a Marijuana possession case. What can we do about it?” Well, everyone Marijuana possession case is different. There are different jurisdictions that might arrest you. There are different police officers within those jurisdictions that we know, oh this guy does it because he needs to meet his numbers, ya know, but he’s never going to show up to court, we know the case will get dismissed.
If you’ve been arrested the best possible outcome is that the state doesn’t file charges at all. If the state does file charges, the best possible outcome would be obviously that they dismiss the charges. If they don’t dismiss the charges, that you get some sort of pre-trial diversion program which ultimately leads to a dismissal, depending on where you get arrested. That’s a county by county thing in Florida, whether they have diversion and for what cases and what kind of offenders are eligible for it.
If you are looking at accepting some kind of plea bargain because you don’t want to go to trial or for whatever reason obviously the best things to look for a reduction of charges, no jail time.
In Florida, they can impose what is called a withhold of adjudication where you plead guilty but the judge withholds adjudication. It’s kind of a technicality but it’s a very important technicality because if it’s a felony, a withhold of adjudication on a felony, means that you are not a convicted felon. So you have a felony on your record, which is, yes terrible, but you don’t lose your right to vote, your right to bear arms, you don’t lose your right to qualify for federal housing, student loans and things such as that.
The best answer that I can give you is that you have to talk to an attorney and give them the particular details of your case. You know look at your background, what county you’re in. That’s why it’s so important to contact an attorney to properly advise you on your specific case.