The vast majority of criminal proceedings involve some level of plea bargaining. Whether or not accepting the plea bargain is a good idea on your part depends on your particular case and situation.
Either way, though, it is likely that the prosecution will offer you a plea bargain. There are three main areas of negotiation for plea bargains. According to FindLaw, these areas are charge, sentence and fact.
How are these different?
Charge bargaining and sentence bargaining are the two most common kinds of plea bargains. With a charge bargain, the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lower charge in order to avoid facing a jury on higher charges. For example, if a defendant agrees to plead guilty to manslaughter, the defendant may avoid a jury trial on murder. Sentence bargaining is very similar to charge bargaining, only the sentence stays the same while the amount of time the defendant spends in jail goes down.
The least common kind of plea bargain is a fact bargain. Not all courts allow fact Bargains. Fact bargaining involves the defense admitting to specific facts in return for the prosecution not allowing other facts to come to the jury’s attention.
Why would taking a plea bargain be a good idea?
A lot goes into figuring out whether or not a plea bargain is a good idea in your case. Keep in mind that prosecutors can only recommend a plea agreement to the court and the court may still decide not to accept it. It is also a good idea to discuss accepting any potential plea agreement with your attorney to ensure you understand all of the logistics.