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Why are plea bargains used in criminal cases?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2015 | Theft & Property Crimes

People who are going through a criminal case might learn that they are being offered a plea deal. More than 90 percent of criminal cases are resolved using this method. It is important for defendants to understand some points of plea bargains so they can decide if they want to accept the offer or not.

Why should I consider a plea bargain?

There are several points that might entice you to accept a plea bargain. In some cases, you might be able to plead to a lesser charge or receive a reduced sentence. You can usually have your case resolved faster, which means you don’t have to worry about what will happen if you end up going to trial.

Why will the prosecution consider a plea bargain?

Prosecutors usually consider plea bargains so that they don’t have to go to trial. Prosecutors often have a lot of cases that need attention. Allowing plea bargains to resolve some cases lightens that load for the prosecution. It can also save money if the prosecution doesn’t have to prepare for and present a trial.

Why will a judge consider a plea bargain?

Just as is the case with the prosecutor, the judge will usually consider plea bargains to take some of the caseload out of the docket. In some cases, judges might also accept plea deals as a way to reduce prison overcrowding if the defendant wasn’t facing much time, such as in petty theft cases.

Plea deals are appropriate for many cases, but not all. If you are considering a plea deal, make sure that you understand all the points and terms of the deal. You should understand how it affects not only your case but also the rest of your life.

Source: FindLaw, “Plea Bargain Pros and Cons,” accessed May. 22, 2015