White collar crimes might not involve violence and death, but they are still seen as deserving of strict punishment. Because white-collar crimes don't carry super-severe penalties like death, you might think that plea bargaining to avoid a harsher sentence isn't worth it. However, it can be, especially because white collar crimes are no longer treated less severely than non-white-collar crimes. Of course, just as there are times when a plea bargain is a bad idea, there are times when plea bargaining is a good idea.
How Strong Is the Evidence?
If you're proclaiming your innocence -- or even if you're not -- but you think there is a way to prove the case wrong, faulty, or riddled with technicalities, you might feel emboldened about not plea bargaining. Speak with a lawyer about this because you have to look at the evidence and see if there is a way to combat it before moving forward with a not-guilty plea. It could be that the evidence is so strong that the lawyer sees no way out for you, other than to plea bargain for a lighter sentence.
What's the Potential Sentence?
Just how severe is the potential sentence? Are you looking at life if you lose your case, versus maybe a few years and some probation if you plea bargain? If you really did do the crime, you may want to serve that shorter time. But if the sentences for both the plea bargain and a loss in court are similar, and you have a strong case for being acquitted, speak to your lawyer. You might have a reason for not plea bargaining.
Really: Were You Involved and Are You Bring Framed?
If you were absolutely not involved and you think you're being framed, you need to present some sort of reason for the lawyer to take that claim and investigate it. In this case, plea bargaining is obviously not a first choice. You and the lawyer are going to have to do some heavy investigative work to show that you were not involved. However, again, talk to the lawyer to get his or her take on exactly how to proceed.
White collar crime isn't mild. It isn't something where you can assume the punishment would be a slap on the wrist. If you are dealing with an accusation of white collar crime, you need to speak with a lawyer immediately to ensure your case goes as smoothly and as favorably as possible.
For more information, you will want to contact a firm such as The Geller Firm.Share