What is a ” Plea Bargain”?
What many individuals do not realize is that there are a great number of criminal matters that never reach trial. Many cases end in a plea bargain or plea agreement. These agreements typically have a major impact on the punishment that a defendant receives. In fact, a plea bargain can limit the crimes for which a defendant may be convicted.
Basically, a plea bargain is a simple agreement between the person accused of a crime and the prosecution. Both parties agree to do something for some type of benefit. The most common types of pleas that are entered are:
- Guilty pleas – The defendant admits to committing the crime
- Nolo contendere – This is known as the “no contest” plea where the defendant doesn’t admit or deny that they committed a crime, but they accept a punishment. With this type of plea, the defendant is saying that they are not admitting to the crime, but they are also saying they didn’t do it.
If you have been accused of a crime, you and your St. James criminal defense attorney will review your options and find the one that works best for you. You will be advised as to what the possible conclusion of each plea is so you can choose what you would like to do.
Giving You The Information You Need
You may wonder why you should plea at all and just let the case go to trial. For the prosecution, a plea means saving money and time. Plus, they secure a conviction. For the defendant, it comes down to the jail time. In many cases, a defendant is more likely to receive a lesser sentence if they enter a plea rather than go to trial. There are two main reasons for this:
- The prosecution may agree to drop some of the charges, reducing the seriousness of the crime.
- There are times the prosecution will agree to a specific sentence and make it a part of the plea deal. The prosecution will merely recommend the sentence to the judge when it is time for sentencing. The prosecutor could also promise to recommend probation in place of jail time. There may be other conditions within the plea deal specific to the defendant’s case.
The judge doesn’t have to agree to a plea agreement, including any of the promises made by the prosecution. If the judge does accept the plea, then it is final. You and your Mankato criminal defense attorney will work to secure the best possible deal in order to secure the best possible outcome for you.
Contact A Mankato & St. James Criminal Defense Lawyer
Sometimes entering a plea bargain can lead to a much better result in a case where conviction is imminent. However, it is not something that you want to decide upon without an experienced criminal defense attorney to advise you and guide you. To learn about how the Rosengren Kohlmeyer Law Office, CHTD can help you, call 507-625-5000 for a free consultation.