As someone facing serious charges in Missouri, you may wonder what your options are. When looking at the possibility of going to court for a trial, you might feel overwhelmed. It is hard to narrow down your options, too. 

One potential option is agreeing to a plea bargain. This can serve you well in certain situations, but may not be worth it in others. 

What is a plea bargain?

Cornell Law School defines a plea bargain as a mutually beneficial agreement between defendants and prosecutors. In it, the accused (you, in this case) pleads guilty. In exchange, the prosecutors will reduce the number of charges they lay against you or reduce the severity of said charges. In the end, this results in a more lenient sentence for you. It also saves all parties the trouble of having to go through the process of a trial. 

Negatives and positives of plea bargains

Plea bargains work well if you think your changes of a jury conviction are high. It allows you to bypass that and accept lighter consequences for lesser crimes. If you are facing particularly steep charges and potential penalties, this could benefit you. 

Of course, a major downside is the fact that you are admitting to guilt. This is a hard pill to swallow, especially if you are innocent of the crime you face accusation for. Admitting guilt means you will have the charge on your record. This can impact you after your sentence is over in the form of housing and job discrimination. This is particularly true if convicted of a federal crime or felony. 

In the end, you should discuss your options with a lawyer first. They have the legal expertise necessary to help you decide which option serves your interests well.