Stages Of A Criminal Case Plea Bargain

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During a criminal case, a prosecutor may consider many factors before making the decision to negotiate a plea deal. These could include the seriousness of the alleged crime, the weight of the evidence against the defendant, and the probability of jury finding the defendant guilty at the trial. Not all cases allow for a plea bargain to resolve the case. Plea bargaining, however, has become more common because trials can take days, weeks, or even months, thereby straining the already overloaded court docket, while guilty pleas can often be arranged in minutes.

Often, the defendant will choose to plead guilty to the charges in order to receive a less severe sentence than if they were to go to trial and be convicted. Depending on the seriousness of the crime, and the strength of the evidence against a suspect, a suspect can admit to a crime and receive a sentence right away, rather than wait for a trial date.

In order to obtain a lesser charge, the defendant must plead guilty. Plea bargains aid the court because they can reduce the time and expense needed to take a defendant to trial. They may also, at least temporarily, ease the overcrowding in jails and prisons. An attorney is necessary in this stage because a prosecutor is not allowed to bargain with an unrepresented defendant.

A plea bargain is settled upon by both the prosecutor and the defendant. In many cases that involve a plea bargain, the defendant will also agree to testify against one or more people in order to receive a less severe punishment. A plea deal may result in reduced fines, reduced jail time, and a lesser charge on the criminal record. Some defendants would rather accept the certainty of being incarcerated for a shorter amount of time than to risk leaving their fate up to a jury.

Frequently, a defendant will agree upon a plea bargain when he or she faces more than one charge. In return for agreeing to a plea bargain deal that is set forth by the prosecutor, the defendant may have one of the charges dropped completely. In return, the sentence will be much less severe. In other cases, the actual charge against the defendant will be reduced to a less serious crime. This also results in a less severe punishment. In the majority of criminal cases, a plea bargain will reduce the defendant's jail sentence, fines, or both.

There are two common forms of plea bargains. A charge bargain is a type of plea bargain that results in a less serious charge. The other form of plea bargain is commonly referred to as a sentence bargain. A sentence bargain, when the defendant is told the exact terms of his sentence in advance, will usually require some form of approval from the judge. High profile criminal cases use sentence plea bargains from time to time. In a sentence bargain, the prosecutor is guaranteed a conviction, while the defendant accepts the sentence that is settled upon.

A plea bargain is not always an option. Some crimes may be too serious, and therefore require a trial. When the evidence against the defendant is overwhelming, a plea bargain may be useful. In this situation, a guilty verdict from a trial is almost guaranteed, and the plea bargain effectively avoids a lengthy trial.

Plea bargains are an important part of the criminal justice system. Criminal courts are often overburdened with criminal cases. Plea bargains can ensure that justice is still served while eliminating the need for, and expense of, a trial. If a plea bargain is accepted, there is no need for a trial. After this deal is worked out between the prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer, the prosecutor will present the deal to the judge and recommend that the court accept. The ultimate decision is up to the judge.