A plea bargain (also plea agreement, plea deal or copping a plea) is an agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a particular charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor. This may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to a less serious charge, or to one of several charges, in return for the dismissal of other charges; or it may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to the original criminal charge in return for a more lenient sentence.
A plea bargain allows both parties to avoid a lengthy criminal trial and may allow criminal defendants to avoid the risk of conviction at trial on a more serious charge. For example, a criminal defendant charged with a felony theft charge, the conviction of which would require imprisonment in state prison, may be offered the opportunity to plead guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge, which may not carry jail time.
In cases such as an automobile collision when there is a potential for civil liability against the defendant, the defendant may agree to plead no contest or "guilty with a civil reservation", which essentially is a guilty plea without admitting civil liability.
Plea bargaining can present a dilemma to defense attorneys, in that they must choose between vigorously seeking a good deal for their present client, or maintaining a good relationship with the prosecutor for the sake of helping future clients.
In charge bargaining, defendants plead guilty to a less serious crime than the original charge. In count bargaining, they plead guilty to a subset of multiple original charges. In sentence bargaining, they plead guilty agreeing in advance what sentence will be given; however, this sentence can still be denied by the judge. In fact bargaining, defendants plead guilty but the prosecutor agrees to stipulate (i.e., to affirm or concede) certain facts that will affect how the defendant is punished under the sentencing guidelines.
Other articles related to "guilty":
... On April 9, 2002 he pleaded guilty the maximum sentence for his crimes is ten years, but since he pleaded guilty and became a witness for the prosecution he would have presumably received a much ... He withdrew his guilty plea on December 12, 2005 after the overturning of the Arthur Andersen conviction ...
... system was established in Scots law by 1728 (since then juries have been able to pass a not guilty verdict) ... announce whether the defendant* was "guilty" or "not guilty" instead it would decide whether specific factual allegations were "proven" or "not proven" and ...
... offense generally includes up to three kinds of "elements" the actus reus, or guilty conduct the mens rea, or guilty mental state and the attendant (sometimes "external") circumstances ... prosecution to prove each "element of the offense" in order for a defendant to be found guilty ...
... legally innocent but often seen as morally guilty without the option of a retrial to clear their name ... TV etc.) are more familiar with the English/US verdicts of "guilty"/"not guilty" than "proven"/"not guilty"/"not proven" ... Many people believe that if only "guilty" and "not guilty" were available, then some accused persons who now are acquitted by a "not proven" instead would be convicted (although this opinion in ...
... is the verdict that results when a court of law finds a defendant guilty of a crime ... "not guilty") ... also cases where the court orders that a defendant not be convicted, despite being found guilty ...
Famous quotes containing the words plead guilty, bargain, plea, plead and/or guilty:
“When trouble comes no mother should have to plead guilty alone. The pediatricians, psychologists, therapists, goat herders, fathers, and peer groups should all be called to the bench as well. . . .”
—Mary Kay Blakely (20th century)
“My true love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange, one for the other given.
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
There never was a better bargain driven.”
—Sir Philip Sidney (15541586)
“Man gives every reason for his conduct save one, every excuse for his crimes save one, every plea for his safety save one; and that one is his cowardice.”
—George Bernard Shaw (18561950)
“If weakness may excuse,
What murtherer, what traitor, parricide,
Incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it?
All wickedness is weakness: that plea therefore
With God or man will gain thee no remission.”
—John Milton (16081674)
“[W]e are all guilty in some Measure of the same narrow way of Thinking ... when we fancy the Customs, Dresses, and Manners of other Countries are ridiculous and extravagant, if they do not resemble those of our own.”
—Joseph Addison (16721719)