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What purpose do plea bargains serve?

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

People who are facing criminal charges have a few options for handling their defense. They might decide to fight the charges to try to avoid having to deal with having a criminal record. In other cases, the defendant may recognize that they don’t have much of a chance of being found not guilty. The individuals in that second group may want to do what they can to minimize the penalties they’ll face.

One option that some people exercise when they’re facing criminal charges is to see if they can work out a plea deal with the prosecution. This can encompass a host of a factors. Typically, only individuals who are represented by an attorney can work out a plea deal because many prosecutors will only work out the terms with another attorney.

What points can be included in a plea deal?

Many plea deals consist of the defendant pleading guilty or no contest to a specific charge or set of charges. In exchange for that, the prosecution recommends a specific sentence for the individual. It’s sometimes possible for the defense to work out a deal for lesser charges in exchange for the guilty plea.

Why would either side enter into a plea bargain?

Plea bargains are useful for both sides. For the defense, it gives them an idea of what their sentence or conviction will be. The prosecution won’t have to worry about going through the arduous process of preparing their case. The court will usually accept plea deals as long as they meet specific legal requirements because this lightens the court docket.

One thing that defendants must remember is that the court can alter the terms of the plea deal. Another is that you can’t appeal a plea deal since you’re entering into it willingly. You should discuss all applicable points of the deal with your attorney.