Facing criminal charges can be overwhelming for anyone. People who are facing criminal charges are also facing different criminal defense options, depending on their situation and circumstance and they should understand their options, including plea bargaining, so they can choose the best option for them.
What is plea bargaining?
A plea bargain is an agreement between the accused individual and the prosecuting authority that is negotiated outside of court but usually has to be approved by the court. With a plea bargain, the accused individual will have to waive rights so they should fully understand the plea bargaining process and how the pros and cons apply to them.
Agreeing to a plea agreement means that the parties do not go to trial. Accused individuals can avoid the time and cost that may be associated with going to trial by reaching a plea deal. Criminal trials can also take time and drag on and be in the public eye. The prosecutor also avoids the time, expense and publicity usually associated with a trial.
Accused individuals may also be able to avoid a harsher punishment they might otherwise receive if their case goes to trial. The trial process can be uncertain for both sides and both sides so reaching a plea agreement may eliminate a lot of the uncertainty.
It is important to keep in mind that the negotiated agreement may not always be guaranteed if the case goes to court and requires the accused individual to plead guilty according to the agreement. However, plea agreements are often more efficient overall for the entire criminal justice system.
What is important is that the accused individual has the proper guidance to determine if accepting a plea agreement is the right decision for them. There are potential advantages and disadvantages to a plea agreement and any accused individual considering one should be familiar with all of their criminal defense options.