Anthony M. Salerno

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Anthony M. Salerno

Attorney At Law

What are the main areas of negotiation in a plea bargain?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2021 | Criminal Defense

If you are going through the criminal justice system, it is highly likely that the prosecution will offer you a plea bargain as a part of the process. Whether or not it is a good idea for you to accept the plea bargain depends upon your personal situation and your case, but it is likely the prosecution will create a potential plea bargain for you whether you accept it or not.

Three primary areas of negotiation exist regarding plea bargains, according to FindLaw. The three areas are charge bargaining, sentence bargaining and fact bargaining.

Which plea bargain am I most likely to get?

By far, the most common variety of a plea bargain is a charge bargain. A charge bargain occurs when the prosecution offers the defendant the possibility of pleading guilty to a less serious charge rather than going to trial for a more serious one. A classic charge bargain is when a defendant agrees to plead guilty to manslaughter for the purpose of avoiding more serious murder charges.

Sentence bargains are also relatively common and quite similar to charge bargains. The only difference between a charge bargain and a sentence bargain is that with a sentence bargain the sentence is the only thing that the prosecution lowers. So in the above example, the defendant would plead guilty to murder but get a less serious sentence.

How is fact bargaining different?

Fact bargaining is extremely uncommon and many quarts do not allow fact bargaining. In the event of a fact bargain, the defendant admits to specific facts in the case. In turn, the prosecution agrees to not introduce certain other facts during the trial.