Plea bargain: a strategy where a defendant will agree to plead guilty to a lesser crime in exchange for the original charges to be reduced, or some of the charges dropped.
Plea bargains are sometimes used by people to get out of jail fast without having to pay bail, usually because they think they can’t afford to post bail – even when they actually can. This can result in countless people being “convicted” and having a conviction on their records, despite never being found guilty in a trial. This is a mistake that could haunt you for the rest of your life.
I’ve Been Offered a Plea Bargain, and I Can Walk Out Now – Should I?
A criminal conviction can be permanently damaging to your reputation and ability to get work. They are a matter of public record, and any job interview that you do may be affected by your criminal record. If you plea bargain to avoid bail, you are giving up your constitutional right to a fair trial and the possibility that with the right attorney you can be found not guilty. This would allow you to continue your life without the stigma of being a “convicted criminal.”
If you are arrested, it is usually terrifying, confusing, and fast-paced. Often, overloaded prosecutors will press the maximum possible charge to get the defendant to agree to a plea bargain, which includes a conviction. This allows the prosecutor to wrap up the case, and have another “successful conviction” to go onto the resume. Prosecutors rely on the intimidation and stress created by the criminal justice system, and people who don’t know better will give in because the “deal looks good” – often without thinking about the long-term consequences.
Plea Bargains and True Justice
The injustice of plea bargaining to avoid bail is a critical argument put forward in favor of California Senate Bill 10 (SB10) – a new bill that proposes to eliminate the cash bail system. The theory is that if there is no bail required, most arrestees will be evaluated as low-risk and be released pending trial. The current cash bail system already allows judges to release people without bail if they decide to.
So What Can I Do If I’ve Been Arrested and I Want to Get Out of Jail?
The truth is that many people actually can afford to post bail – they just need to know how and who to contact. Here at Balboa Bail Bonds, we understand that stress, confusion, and pressure of being arrested and are available 24/7/365 to help get you through this challenging situation.
We start the moment that you call (even before bail is set) and walk you through the steps to get your bail posted. We offer flexible financing and charge a low 10% fee with special discounts for active military and veterans, as well as their families. We have bail bond agents throughout the San Diego area, and each agent has five to ten years of experience and is fluent in both Spanish and English. Call us today at (619) 760-2222, and let’s work through this together.