When you’re facing criminal charges, there’s quite a bit at stake. A conviction can have serious consequences on your personal and professional life. However, not every case is automatically destined for trial. Often, prosecutors will work out a plea bargain with the defendant and their attorney before the matter ever reaches a courtroom. As such, it’s important to know what plea bargaining is and how it can impact the outcome of a case.
Understanding Plea Bargains
How do They Work?
A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and defendant in a criminal case. Typically, the prosecutor will give the defendant an incentive to plead guilty or no contest to the charges brought against them instead of going to trial. Prosecutors frequently prefer this scenario for certain kinds of cases, as it saves time and financial resources. However, plea bargains can also be negotiated with a defendant and their attorney any time during a trial before a verdict has been reached. Even though both sides may reach a plea deal, the judge holds full discretion in deciding whether to approve it. They’ll take several factors into consideration when making their ruling, including the facts of the case, the seriousness of the charges, the defendant’s character, and the defendant’s criminal history.
What Are the Different Types?
Depending on the details of your case, there are a few different forms of plea bargaining you and your attorney may be approached with. The first is charge bargaining. This is where the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser crime and the more serious charge is dropped. Sentence bargaining means the defendant will agree to plead guilty or no contest in exchange for a lighter sentence. Fact bargaining involves the defendant pleading guilty to specific facts already known in the case in exchange for the prosecution omitting more damaging evidence.
If you’ve been arrested, turn to The Law Office of Christopher J. Swatosh for help understanding your legal rights. Attorney Swatosh will go over all your defense options with you to determine if it’s in your best interest to accept a plea bargain or go to trial. Offering more than 20 years of experience, this attorney is committed to providing the residents of Douglas County, MO, with aggressive representation and will strive to get you the most favorable result for your case. Call (417) 683-2987 to schedule a consultation, or visit him online for more information on his services.