The Benefits of Plea Bargaining

The Benefits of Plea Bargaining

When an individual is charged with a crime, he or she usually faces a court date, during which time he or she will plead guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendre (no contest). Often, though, prosecutors may approach defendants about entering plea bargains before their cases ever reach court.

In many cases, plea bargains provide favorable outcomes for individuals who are either guilty or who cannot prove their innocence. Typically, individuals who believe that they can prove their innocence beyond a reasonable doubt are advised not to enter these agreements.

There may be many advantages to entering a plea bargain for some individuals. These advantages include:

A reduced sentence

Avoiding jail time

Being convicted of a lesser crime

Being charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony

Ability to negotiate punishment

Though these advantages come with a plea bargain, it is important to note that this is a bargain, so the accused individual must do one of several things to hold up his or her end of the bargain. These actions may include:

Pleading guilty or no contest

Pleading guilty to lesser charges

Cooperating with law enforcement officials

The last action may be true for individuals involved in crime rings or for individuals who hold sensitive information that may indict another individual for a greater crime.

Accused individuals cannot choose to enter a plea bargain if the prosecutor does not offer them this chance. Since a majority of cases are settled in this manner, there is a good chance an individual will be offered a bargain, though this usually depends on the severity of the crime.

If you or someone you love has been accused of committing a crime, find out more about getting the criminal defense you deserve from the Champaign criminal defense attorneys of Thomas A. Bruno & Associates.