Any American who has watched a crime drama is likely familiar with plea bargains. This is when the prosecution offers the defendant the chance to plead guilty to a particular crime without needing to go through a jury trial.
There are positives and negatives to plea bargains. Whether it is a good idea to accept one depends on your particular case and its mitigating factors. However, what many people do not know is that there are several kinds of plea bargain that the prosecution offers. As per FindLaw, these varieties include fact bargaining, and charge or sentence bargaining.
Bargaining over facts
Fact bargaining is actually the rarest kind of plea bargain. This involves the prosecution agreeing not to introduce certain facts into the courtroom. In return, the defense will allow the prosecution to present certain things as facts without needing to prove them.
Bargaining over sentences and charges
These are the more common plea bargains that the prosecution offers. Charge bargaining involves admitting guilt to lower charges in order to get a lower penalty. This is the most well-known type of bargain. Sentence bargaining is very similar to charge bargaining. In a sentence bargain, the defendant accepts a guilty charge for the higher charges, but in return will get lower penalties.
No two court cases are the same. In some instances, it is not a good idea for the defendant to accept a plea bargain. In other cases, it may be the wisest decision. However, understanding the different plea bargains that the prosecution could offer is good preparation for a criminal court case.