Every criminal case is different. If you have recently faced charges for a crime in Virginia, you may have spent a considerable amount of time worrying about what will happen next. You may already understand the exact allegations that you face, but you know that the outcomes are up in the air until the end of your case.
However, the prosecution may have approached your legal counsel about a plea bargain. You may have heard of such bargains before but still do not fully understand how they could apply to a case, especially yours.
How does a plea deal work?
A plea bargain or plea deal is not always a guaranteed offer. Some individuals never receive the offer of a plea bargain, and though you may have the chance to take one, it does not necessarily mean that it is right for your circumstances. If you accept a plea deal, it means that you will plead guilty — and face the associated consequences — in order to receive some small benefit to help your case, such as a lesser sentence or reduction in charges.
What types of plea bargains exist?
When it comes to bargaining, three types of bargains exist. However, you may want to keep in mind that two of these bargains are rare to offer, and some jurisdictions do not even allow them. Common bargain types include the following:
- Fact bargaining: This is the least common type of deal, and it is not one favored by legal professionals. It involves the defendant agreeing to certain facts in order to prevent the presentation of other facts as evidence.
- Sentence bargaining: This bargain is also a less common offer, as it involves the defendant receiving a lesser sentence in exchange for pleading guilty.
- Charge bargaining: If one receives a plea bargain as an offer, this is the type of bargain likely on the table. This deal would involve the defendant pleading guilty in order to have a more serious charge reduced.
Before you decide whether a plea bargain could work for you, you may want to go over the evidence against you and your defense options. You may feel confident in combating the charges in court rather than taking a deal. Discussing this option with an attorney may allow you to better understand what courses of action may be best for you.