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Plea Bargains in California

For those who are charged for a crime, weighing your options is important. You want to consider if your case is worth taking all the way to court, or if you want to seek a reduced sentence through negotiations. A plea bargain may be sought and this will essentially be an agreement that is made between you and the prosecutor in your case. You are agreeing that you will plead or no contest guilty to the charges against you. As a return for you doing this, the prosecutor may do the following:

  • Drop one or multiple charges against you
  • Make a recommendation to the judge on what your sentence should be
  • Lower the charge to one that is less serious

Criminal trials can be long, drawn out processes in many instances and there are more than enough for the courts to handle. This overload of cases to deal with can make them more open to accepting a plea bargain since it can allow a case to be resolved in a faster manner. Another reason why a prosecutor might be open to a plea bargain is that there is more certainty, something that a court case does not provide.

Plea bargains are used quite frequently and take place more often than a case goes to court. That is not to say that going to court is always something to avoid. In some instances it may be the best available option to find the results that you need. A plea bargain might not provide you with satisfactory results and when that is the case, you have the option to keep fighting. In California, laws prohibit plea bargains when the indictment or information charge certain felonies. There are exceptions to this rule which you can discuss with our Pasadena criminal defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Matthew Cargal.