When someone has made the offer of pleading down a felony conviction to a misdemeanor, many people jump at the chance without fully understanding what it is that they are agreeing to. This is especially the case when someone is facing drug charges, as a means to avoid the uncertainty of a criminal trial and the cost of going through the long haul. But a new podcast focusing on the criminal justice system in Ohio highlights the flaws in this way of thinking.
Serial, perhaps the most popular podcast of all time, is focusing on an Ohio city for this season and attempting to point out how life is for someone caught, rightly or wrongly, on the other side of the law. The first episode follows someone who is arrested on criminal charges-she faces assault charges for responding to a provocation and accidentally striking a police officer in the face in the process.
Many believe they won’t find themselves in a similar position-facing criminal charges in an innocent night on the town-but what most don’t realize is that people are often voiceless and powerless when this happens. The podcast highlights the way different mediums and sources of evidence play a role in court-conflicting witness statements, ambiguous videos and police reports-and how their intersection often ends up in pressurizing someone into accepting charges that should not have been brought forward in the first place.
Drug crimes, like others, are treated seriously by the department that is in charge of prosecuting them, which is why those who face them should tackle charges aggressively. Though everyone has a right to their day in court, people may prefer to plea their case out but they should do it knowingly. It is important to understand what one is giving up when accepting a plea bargain and an experienced attorney may be able to help an accused understand their legal options.