Plea bargain: Charge Bargain or Sentence Bargain


What is a "plea bargain"?

The agreement between the prosecutor and the suspect is usually called the "plea bargain". This deal is beneficial to both parties. The prosecutor may effectively close the case, thanks to promising to suspect a good incentive for recognition.

Types of "Plea Bargain"

Below we consider both variants of plea bargain:

  • 1. Charge Bargain. With this version of bargain the prosecutor offers the defendant to plead guilty in committing a lesser offense than was actually done. For example, the defendant committed the burglary, but by mutual agreement with the prosecutor, he will make a frank recognition of attempted burglary. If the defendant was arrested for driving while drunk and for violation of traffic rules, he can admit only one of these disorders.
  • 2. Sentence Bargain. This kind of bargains suggests that the defendant will know his sentence before the trial. But he has to admit his guilt. Typically, these transactions take place in the conduct of high-profile cases where the prosecutor does not want to reduce the charge because of the public reaction. And, as a rule, they must be approval by the judge.

Reasons for breaking a deal with the prosecutor

As we said above, the bargain with the prosecutor is an agreement in which both parties must comply with certain conditions. If you have decided to it, I mean, you have pleaded guilty in exchange for lesser punishment; you have to help the investigation, to give evidence, to cooperate in discovering of other crimes. Otherwise, the prosecutor can break deal and you will be judged in the ordinary court.
How to make sure that the plea deal is not a farce?
If you want to be sure that the plea deal is valid at the time of sentencing, you'd better make a record of the plea deal. It can be written in two ways: oral taping and a written contract signed by both parties. If you do that, you can be sure that all the promises of judges and prosecutors will be executed. Otherwise, you can pick up your words of the plea deal, and the investigation of your case will resume. You should be aware that there are some cases when judge and the prosecutor can refuse conduct any record of such deal. The reasons for this may be the prosecutor's fear of being too soft before the public, or judge's fear to admit that he is taking part in the "sentence bargaining”. Therefore, prior to recognition, you should consult with an attorney to make sure that the record of the plea deal will be made.

When should you consider a plea bargain?

You need to know that it is easier to conclude a plea bargain before bringing formal charges to you with a crime. Your attorney may engage in negotiations with the prosecutor, while the police will still carry out the investigation. In this case, your attorney will be able to significantly reduce the punishment that will be impossible to achieve after the filing formal charges.

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