What is a Plea Bargain
A plea bargain is a way for the defense and the prosecution to reach an agreement on punishment of the charges without the case going to trial.
Most cases are settled with a plea bargain as this is a quick process, and both sides usually benefit from the agreement. As the defendant, you will agree to a lesser charge, and the prosecution will generally recommend a reduced sentence. This is an action where you need an attorney. If the charges you are faced with could come without jail time without pleading guilty to a lesser charge, then it might be worth the effort of going to trial.
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First Appearance and Arraignment
Your first experience with a plea bargain is seen at your first appearance. The district judge might not be able to accept a plea if you are charged with a felony. Neither party has a lot of information at this time, so it might be best to wait until your arraignment. This usually takes place shortly after your first appearance. Both sides are looking to get done with the case as soon as possible. If you know you’re guilty, then a plea might be best as your attorney can start talking to the prosecution about a reduced sentence.
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The Best Option
If you plead guilty, you might be released on probation for the charges. However, if you don’t take the plea, you might have to spend more time in jail only to be released later on probation. If you know you can’t make the bail amount and are offered probation in exchange for admitting guilt to a crime, then it might be best to take the offer so that you can go to work and deal with the probation obligations.
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