If you’re facing trouble with the law, one thing you may want to know more about is a plea bargain. A plea bargain has benefits and downsides. In most cases, a defendant will end up having the opportunity to accept a plea deal; in over 90 percent of convictions, plea bargains were involved. That means that fewer than 10 percent of all charges end up at trial
Plea bargains are important for several reasons. First, they help you limit the time spent on the case, which saves you money. Plea bargains keep individuals out of courts for trial, reducing the overall caseload for the judge and juries. Finally, they help you know exactly which penalties you’ll receive, which is safer than going to trial and awaiting an unpredictable outcome.
A judge is not obligated to accept a plea deal, but he or she has some reasons to do so. First, it wastes less time and money, which means the judge gets to hear cases that need to go to trial rather than hearing a case where a plea deal is acceptable. Second, if the plea involves a way to keep someone out of jail or prison, this could help keep the prison population down, which reduces overcrowding.
Plea deals have their benefits, but they’re not for everyone. If you’re innocent or think you have a solid case for a trial, a trial could give you the opportunity to walk away without any penalties instead of accepting lowered penalties. Your attorney can give you more information, so you know if you should accept or consider a plea deal. Our site has more on what to expect.