Possible Plea Options For An Assault Charge

In many criminal cases, it's not uncommon to be offered a plea deal. A charge of assault is no exception to this rule. While the term plea deal is common, the average person has very little understanding of what they actually entail.  If you have been charged with assault and are considering a plea, make sure you understand what's ahead.

Plea With Jail Time

A plea with jail time is probably the least favorable of all options. With this deal, your guilty plea does not absolve you of any jail time. However, on the bright side, you will generally be offered a shorter sentence than you would if you had gone to trial. Typically, this type of deal is offered when you have a criminal history or if the circumstances that surround the case are considered serious.

An example of this would be a domestic dispute in which children were present to witness the event. Additionally, some states have minimum sentencing requirements that might require this type of deal.

Plea Without Jail Time

In some instances, you might be offered a plea deal that doesn't include any jail time. The terms of this type of deal generally involve probation. For example, consider an assault case that would normally warrant a three-year jail sentence. Instead of jail, you might be offered three years of probation instead.

Another option is a diversion program. An example of this would be the opportunity to complete an anger management program in lieu of jail time. Typically, only those individuals who have a clean criminal history will be offered this type of opportunity.

Plea To A Lesser Charge

An assault plea deal can also come with an opportunity to plead to a lesser charge. In many cases, this offers an excellent opportunity to avoid a lengthier jail sentence. For example, an assault incident that took place at a local park might be downgraded to a Disturbing the Peace charge.

While you will still have a criminal record, having a lesser charge on your record is less damaging to your future. To be offered this opportunity the original charge must not be serious, such as a case where the victim is not injured. Additionally, you don't necessarily have to have a clean criminal history, but at a very limited one.

A plea deal is a serious decision. It's best to consult with an attorney and discuss your options before making a decision. Visit http://www.anggelisandgordon.com/ for more information.