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HPlawyer, Attorney
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What are the advantages and problems with plea bargaining

Resolved Question:

What are the advantages and problems with plea bargaining?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 7 years ago.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today. The advantages with plea bargaining are getting a lighter sentence than if the case went to trial. It saves time, as well as the state's money (and the defendant's money, if he does not have a public defender). Another advantage is that, in many cases, a defendant can get the charges reduced if he is willing to plead guilty (or, where there are multiple charges, can get one or more of the charges dismissed).

The disadvantage is that you are giving up your right to make the prosecution prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. Where the evidence is weak, or you are not guilty, this is an important consideration. Another disadvantage is that, following a plea bargain, a defendant will have a criminal record that could affect his ability to get a job in the future (but, this is the same as being found guilty).
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Expert:  HPlawyer replied 7 years ago.
Hello again Babeecakes!

Let me add some additional insight to your question.

Plea bargaining is the process of negotiating a verdict and sentence without a complete trial.

Benefits to plea bargaining include the fact that it "rewards" a defendant for admitting fault by giving the defendant a lighter sentence than if the defendant actually proceeded to trial and was found guilty. Sometimes charges may be dropped in exchange for a plea agreement. Another benefit is that it helps reduce time-consuming trials and is useful at promoting efficiency of the judicial system, which benefits everyone.

A negative aspect of plea bargaining is that it can be viewed as effectively "punishing" a defendant for exercising his or her constitutional right to a trial. Similarly and accordingly, it may persuade an individual who is not guilty to enter a plea bargain simply to avoid the risk of going to trial. Another disadvantage is that if a criminal is actually guilty of his or her crime, then perhaps it is not in the best interest of justice to give such an individual a reduced sentence. Another disadvantage of plea bargaining is that a defendant usually waives his or her right to an appeal at a later date, so an individual is generally stuck with such a plea bargain after entering into one.

I hope this helps, and as always, please let me know if you have any follow-up questions!

Also, if you start your question with "To HPlawyer", other attorneys will typically not answer your question.

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HPlawyer, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 874
Experience: GA Lawyer
HPlawyer and 11 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you