Facing drug charges can be confusing and frightening. With the rise in addictions and deaths from overdoses and the increase in violent crime coming to the once quiet areas of Tennessee, police and lawmakers seem to be toughening their stance on prosecuting drug crimes to the fullest extent. If police have arrested you for drug offenses, your future may be on the line.
It is possible that the prosecutor in your case will extend a plea offer to you. Before you accept or reject such a deal, it is important that you understand the potential consequences. You may want to reject any deal that includes jail time or grab an offer that seems to be in your favor. However, it is wise to obtain legal advice before making a decision.
If a prosecutor approaches you with a deal, it may seem enticing, especially if the charges you face could lead to decades behind bars or the evidence against you will be difficult to refute. Plea bargains typically focus on one or more of these elements:
Reducing the charges against you to lesser charges, such as dropping a possession with intent to distribute down to a simple possession
Dropping some of the charges in exchange for your guilty plea to other charges
Proposing that the court impose a lighter sentence in exchange for your guilty plea
Agreeing to withhold certain evidence in exchange for your affirmation that other facts in evidence are true
In the case of drug crimes, you may find the prosecution offers a deal in exchange for your cooperation in the investigation of those who may be higher up in the drug supply chain. Accepting the deal is the same as signing a contract. If you do not keep your end of the bargain, the prosecution is likely to revoke the offer, which means you may end up going to trial and facing a jury.
Plea bargains serve many purposes. They eliminate the need for a costly, time-consuming trial, lower the workload of busy prosecutors and reduce the number of cases that overcrowd the court system. However, they may not always benefit you. There may even be devastating consequences hidden in the bargain. This is why it is important that you have as much information as possible and the counsel of an attorney who has vast experience in criminal law.