Legal Glossary: Plea Bargain

When a defendant is charged with a crime, a prosecutor may offer a reduced sentence or criminal conviction for a guilty plea. This saves the both the prosecutor and the defendant the trouble, time and money of going to trial. However, a defendant has to make a knowing waiver of their rights and related conditions of the plea on a signed “Plea Form” or by verbally agreeing to such waiver and related conditions of the plea in open court. Once the known facts, potential testimony and other evidence are sorted out by the prosecution and defense, one can determine whether those facing criminal charges are either overcharge or whether the offer for settlement by plea is a “good deal” in terms of the implications, conditions and punishment. In some cases, it may be wise to take a plea bargain while in others, you are better off fighting the charges.

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