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What are the areas of negotiation in a plea bargain?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2021 | Criminal Defense

It is likely that a plea bargain will become part of the processing associated with your criminal case, no matter what crime the courts are charging you with. Plea bargains offer a number of benefits for both the prosecution and defense in many instances. A plea bargain means that the prosecution does not need to take the case to court. In some instances, plea bargains also allow the defense to minimize jail time or other ramifications.

In your particular case, it may be a good idea to accept a plea bargain or it may not be a good idea. However, there are three general areas of negotiations concerning plea bargains. According to FindLaw, these areas are fact, sentence, and charge.

What is a fact bargain?

The fact bargain is the rarest form. With a fact bargain, you will still go to trial. The plea bargain concerns itself with what information the prosecution releases during the trial itself. Essentially, this is an exchange where the prosecution agrees to not introduce certain facts to the jury in return for the the defense agreeing to admit to other facts.

What are sentence and charge bargains?

On the other hand, the charge bargain is the most common kind of plea bargain. This is when a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in order to avoid a trial over more serious charges. For instance, the defendant may choose to plead guilty to simple assault in order to avoid a trial over aggravated assault.

Sentence bargaining is similar, only that it concerns itself with just the sentence. So in the above example, the defendant would agree to plead guilty to aggravated assault, but may only receive the sentence associated with simple assault.