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How do plea bargains work?


If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal crime, there is a good chance you may be able to work with prosecutors to reach a plea bargain. It is generally in a court's best interest to try to start with plea negotiations to avoid a lengthy court battle with a defendant, and as a result, such plea bargains are very common.

Several factors are taken into consideration when discussing a plea deal such as the evidence of the prosecution, the likelihood of a guilty verdict and the seriousness of the crime. It is not uncommon for the prosecution to offer a lesser charge to a defense team in an effort to settle the case out of court. If there are multiple charges, the prosecution may offer to reduce or dismiss specific charges of the defendant pleads guilty of other charges.

For a defendant unfamiliar and untrained with the plea negotiation process. Making decisions that are not in the defendant's best interest are not uncommon. It is important to make sure you have a strong criminal defense team on your side when addressing a criminal charge.

Having a team on your side familiar with criminal law may be the difference between winning your case, obtaining a favorable plea bargain to avoid a lengthy and costly trial, and a guilty conviction that could lead to life-long consequences such as heavy fines, substantial prison time, and a criminal history that may affect many aspects of your life such as future employment and even where you could reside.

Source: findlaw.com, "Plea Bargains Overview," Accessed on Nov. 8, 2016

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