Many criminal cases are resolved through a "plea bargain", usually well before trial. In a plea bargain, the defendant agrees to plead guilty to one or more charges (often to a lesser charge than one for which the defendant could stand trial) in exchange for a more lenient sentence (and/or so that certain related charges are dismissed). Click on the links below for in-depth information on plea bargains.
- Plea Bargain Basics
– Brief explanation of plea bargains and a few examples of how they might be reached in a criminal case.
- Plea Bargaining: Areas of Negotiation
– Discusses the three main areas of negotiations involving plea bargains:charge bargaining,sentence bargaining, and fact bargaining.
- Plea Bargain Pros and Cons
– Find out why judges, prosecutors, and defendants like or dislike plea bargains.
- Plea Bargaining in Federal Courts
– Discusses the plea bargaining process at the federal court level.
- Plea Bargaining: State Provisions
– Discusses how state laws affect plea bargains.
- Plea Bargains
Discusses what plea bargains are, why we use them and different types of plea bargains, as well as what happens if both parties don't live up to the terms of a plea bargain.
- Defense Plea Bargains
– The benefits of defense plea bargaining may include to avoid jail time or get a reduction in charges. Find out the other reasons a defendant may want to plea bargain.
- Plea Bargains and Judicial Economy
– Discusses the relationship between plea bargains and the judicial economy and how they co-exist to create balance in the current legal system.