When facing criminal charges, a defendant might not want to take any chances at a trial. The evidence against the accused could make a guilty verdict likely, leading to a potentially harsh sentence. A Colorado prosecutor may offer a plea bargain deal preferable to an outcome in court. Upon learning how plea bargains work, the accused may find a plea arrangement preferable.
How plea bargains work
With a plea bargain, the defendant may plead guilty to a lesser charge which, in turn, provides a lesser punishment. The accused may look at several counts of criminal charges and plead guilty to one while seeing the other charges dismissed.
Plea bargain deals are not necessarily “one-sided.” The defendant’s attorney could negotiate an agreement with the prosecutor, and the defendant does not have to accept an unreasonable offer. Still, a judge must approve a plea deal. If the deal is too lenient or too harsh, or otherwise unrealistic, a judge may reject it.
Potential benefits to a plea bargain
Plea bargains have some benefits worth understanding. A courtroom criminal defense strategy costs time and money, and a defendant might not wish to see his or her assets depleted for a losing cause. Plea bargains may save the local municipality money while keeping to court docket from being overcrowded with trials.
A criminal defense might generate unwanted publicity. Such publicity may affect more than high-profile clients who have business interests to protect. The “average person” caught up in the criminal justice system might worry about the impact on a family. Plea bargaining and ending the proceedings and related publicity could be beneficial.