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What are the areas of negotiation for a plea bargain?

What are the areas of negotiation for a plea bargain?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2022 | Federal Criminal Defense

Plea bargains are exceedingly common in all criminal cases, including high-level federal ones. In fact, it is almost 100% certain that the prosecution will give you some form of plea bargain during your federal criminal trial.

However, even though most people are familiar with the basics of a plea bargain, they are not aware that plea bargains can address different things. The areas of negotiation on plea bargains include charge, sentence and fact, as per FindLaw.

Fact bargains: Not common

It is most unlikely for federal prosecutors to offer a fact bargain. This sort of bargain, as it says on the tin, has to do with the facts allowed in the trial. Typically, a fact bargain involves the defense allowing the prosecution to present something as a fact without having to prove it. In return, the prosecution does not introduce certain other facts that it can prove in a trial.

Charge and sentence bargains: “Traditional” plea bargains

A “charge” bargain is the most common kind of plea bargain. This is what most people conjure in their heads when somebody mentions a plea bargain. That is, the defendant will plead guilty to a lower charge in order to avoid a court case about a higher charge.

Sentence bargains relate to charge bargains, but only concern the sentence. In this case, the defendant will plead guilty to the original higher charge, but the prosecutors give a lower sentence.

It might or might not be a good idea to take a plea bargain in your particular federal court case. However, you should prepare for the prosecution to offer you one.

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