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What are the areas of negotiation for a plea bargain?

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

If the police arrest you for a crime and it goes to trial, it is highly likely that plea bargains will be a part of the dialogue at some point. This is because plea bargains typically benefit both the prosecution and the defendant. One of the benefits is that plea bargaining provides an element of certainty to both the prosecution and the defense.

However, it is not always a good idea to take a plea bargain. Whether or not you should take a plea bargain depends on the details of your case. However, there are three common areas of negotiation for plea bargains. According to FindLaw, these areas include fact bargaining, charge bargaining, and sentence bargaining.

What is fact bargaining?

This is, by far, the most rare variety of plea bargain. In fact, many jurisdictions do not allow fact bargaining. This type of bargaining involves the prosecution agreeing not to release certain incriminating facts at trial in return for the defendant admitting specific other facts.

What are charge and sentence bargaining?

It is more likely that you will encounter a charge or sentence bargain as part of your plea deal. A charge bargain involves the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser crime in order to avoid a trial. A common example would be a defendant pleading guilty to manslaughter in order to avoid a trial for capital murder.

Sentence bargaining is very similar to charge bargaining, with the caveat that the charge itself does not change. For instance, if the original charge is aggravated battery, it may be possible for the defendant to plead guilty to aggravated battery but receive a charge that is consistent with a simple battery offense.