A plea bargain is something that is quite unique to the United States court system, and in addition, it accounts for around 90 percent of all cases in criminal courts. If you are a defendant in a criminal court case, it is very important that you understand how plea bargains work so that you are empowered to make the best decision for you.
Plea bargains are a tool used to speed up the legal process and generally to try to prevent a case going to trail. It means that if you admit that you are guilty, you may be able to settle for a lesser sentence. However, this can possibly lead to an immoral situation when even the innocent feel that they must plead guilty in order to secure the best result.
What are the different types of plea bargains in Pennsylvania?
The most common type of plea bargaining is called charge bargaining, and this is when the charge is negotiated for a guilty plea. This might mean that you plead guilty to manslaughter instead of running the risk of being tried for murder.
Sentence bargaining is more rare, and this is when a lighter sentence is offered in return for a guilty plea.
The least common type of plea bargaining is fact bargaining, and it means that certain facts will not be introduced as long as the defendant admits to other evidence.
Source: FindLaw, “Plea Bargains: In Depth,” accessed March 09, 2018