What are the different types of plea bargains?

On Behalf of | Nov 18, 2020 | Criminal Law |

Plea Bargains are a part of nearly every case in the U.S. criminal justice system. Whether or not it is a good idea for you to accept a plea bargain depends on the exact nature and details of your case, but it is likely the prosecution will offer you a plea bargain during the process.

Generally speaking, the United States recognizes three different types of plea bargains, and some are more common than others. According to FindLaw, these types of plea bargains are charge, sentence and fact.

What types of plea bargains are the most common?

By far, the most common variety of plea bargain is a charge bargain, and this is what most people think of when they say the term “plea bargain.” With a charge bargain, the prosecution agrees to offer a lesser charge that the defendant intern pleads guilty to. A common example of a charge bargain would be a defendant agreeing to pay guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge in order to avoid a felonious aggravated battery charge. Another example would include pleading guilty to a manslaughter charge in order to avoid murder charges.

Sentence bargaining is also relatively common. Sentence bargaining is very similar to charge bargaining. The main difference is that with sentence bargaining, the prosecution only agrees to reduce the sentence attached to the crime. The charge itself will remain the same.

What about fact bargaining?

Fact bargaining is comparatively very rare and not all courts accept fact bargaining. Fact bargaining involves the defendant agreeing to certain facts in order to avoid the prosecution introducing other facts into evidence.