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Understanding plea bargains

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2020 | federal offenses | 0 comments

If the federal court system is charging you with a crime, it is likely that a plea bargain will be a part of the process. Usually this process begins well before your case goes to trial.

You may believe that the court system would look poorly upon plea bargains, but this is not the case. In many instances, plea bargains are beneficial both for the prosecution and for the defendant. According to FindLaw, the most common type of plea bargain are charge bargains.

What is a charge bargain?

A charge bargain is what most people think of whenever they think of a plea bargain. Charge bargaining involves the defendant agreeing to plead guilty to lesser crimes in order to avoid going to a jury trial for greater crimes.

A common example of this is a defendant charged with murder agreeing to plead guilty to a manslaughter charge. This saves the prosecution a lot of time since they do not have to take the case to trial. This also can ensure that the defendant endures a lesser punishment.

Are there other types of plea bargains?

Yes. Another variety of plea bargain is a sentence bargain. Sentence bargaining and charge bargaining have a lot in common. The main difference is that with a sentence bargaining only involves sentence reduction. So an aggravated battery charge would stay as aggravated battery, but the defendant serves a lesser sentence than is typical.

Another type of plea bargaining is fact bargaining. Fact bargaining involves the defendant admitting to certain facts in return for the prosecution not introducing other facts into trial. Fact bargaining is very rare and not all courts allow it.

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