Plea bargaining is a part of nearly every criminal case. Sometimes it may be a good idea for you to accept a plea bargain, and sometimes it may not be. Plea bargains often benefit both the defendant and the prosecution, although there are situations where it is not advantageous for a defendant to accept a plea bargain. .
Not all plea bargains are the same. Depending on the nature of your case, the prosecution may offer you one of 3 different types of plea bargains. According to FindLaw, the 3 types of plea bargains are charge bargaining, sentence bargaining and fact bargaining.
What is charge bargaining?
The most common plea bargain is a charge bargain. Sentence bargaining is when the prosecution agrees to allow a defendant to plead to a lesser charge in return for dismissing more serious charges. A common example of charge bargaining is when a defendant agrees to plead guilty to a manslaughter charge in order for the courts to not charge the defendant with murder.
What are sentence and fact bargaining?
Sentence bargaining has many similarities to charge bargaining. With sentence bargaining, the defendant agrees to plead guilty in return for a lesser sentence. The difference here is that with sentence bargaining the sentence does not change. Only the potential sentence does.
Fact bargaining is the least common variety of plea bargain. Which fact bargaining, the defendant agrees to admit to certain facts in return for the prosecution not introducing other facts into evidence. Fact bargaining only appears in very specific cases and for specific purposes. In some jurisdictions, the courts do not allow fact bargaining.