In the world of criminal defense, plea bargains often come into play. A plea bargain is a negotiation between the prosecution and the defense that frequently leads to a positive resolution to your case. Accepting a plea bargain means you are willing to admit to something in order to get something in return from the prosecution.
Accepting a plea bargain means that you are guilty or are not contesting the charges. Your defense attorney will discuss with you the best options for your specific case.
Three types of plea bargaining
There are three types of plea bargains you should know about before your trial.
- Charge bargaining is when you, the defendant, plead guilty to a lesser charge. Let’s say you are accused of murder. The prosecution may be willing to accept a plea to the lesser charge of assault.
- Sentence bargaining is used to reduce the severity of the sentence. This is often used as a way to avoid the death penalty in states where that applies.
- Count bargaining allows you to plead guilty to fewer charges when there are multiple charges against you. By dropping some of the charges and pleading guilty to the others, you may receive a less severe sentence.
Trials are costly and time-consuming. Plea bargaining helps to speed the process along without having to face a jury of your peers in the courtroom. By accepting a plea bargain, you are surrendering your appeal rights. The plea bargain sentence, once decreed by the judge, is binding.
Facing criminal charges is no laughing matter. If you find yourself in this position, be sure to explore all of the legal options at your disposal.