Plea Bargain

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.

Read more about Plea BargainControversy, Use in Civil Law Countries

Other articles related to "plea bargain, bargain, plea":

Nicanor Faeldon - No Plea Bargain
... Faeldon released a statement explaining why he in turn would not plea bargain to any of the offenses he was charged with in connection with the alleged mutiny and that he ... He stated that a plea bargain would be a ratification of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's doubtful legitimacy ... He closes his statement by saying “ If this refusal to bargain means a prison term or the loss of my life, I am prepared, now, as much as I was four ...
Jeremy Strohmeyer - Plea Bargain
... Strohmeyer was originally facing a possible death sentence for the murder (had the case gone to trial), but hours before his trial was to start, Abramson entered a plea bargain on his behalf ... On September 8, 1998, Strohmeyer pleaded guilty to four charges first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping, sexual assault on a minor with substantial bodily harm, and sexual assault on a minor ...
Dave Hicks - Pre-trial Agreement and Sentence - Political Manipulation Claims
... a veneer of due process over a political and pragmatic bargain", serving to corrode the rule of law ... of our staffers was present when Vice-President Cheney interfered directly to get Hicks's plea bargain deal ... Australian Prime Minister John Howard denied any involvement in Hicks's plea bargain ...
Plea Bargain - Use in Civil Law Countries - Poland
... Poland also adopted a limited form of plea bargaining, which is applicable only to minor felonies (punishable by no more than 10 years of imprisonment) ... the court may object to the terms of proposed plea agreement (even if already agreed between the defendant, victim and prosecutor) and suggest changes (not specific but rather general) ... his penalty proposition, the court approves it and passes the verdict according to the plea agreement ...
Los Angeles Times Bombing - Trial and Conviction
... of pressuring the prosecution into accepting a plea bargain ... had their paid spies in the other's camp), and was pressing Fredericks to reject any plea bargain ... initially refused to agree to any plea bargain that did not set his brother free ...

Famous quotes containing the words bargain and/or plea:

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    William Hazlitt (1778–1830)

    I understand that it is a maxim of law, that a poor plea may be a good plea to a bad declaration.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865)