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What you need to know about a plea bargain

There are a number of different steps that take place if you have to go to trial. Understanding each step and what it consists of can help you prepare yourself for court. Here are a few different things to know about how a trial works.

First, know that a trial has an important step called plea bargaining. This step is vital for those who face serious convictions. During this stage, your attorney discusses your case with the prosecution and attempts to come to an agreement on a plea. If a plea is accepted, your case ends without going to court.

This happens in most criminal cases. In fact, a plea bargain can guarantee you a better outcome than if you go to court, especially if it's unclear if you will win your case. Plea bargains help you avoid a public trial and the publicity that can entail.

A plea bargain is a good idea for the prosecution because it saves time and money. Instead of spending time in court, the case is quickly resolved so that the prosecution can move on to the next case.

Both sides negotiate when a plea bargain is suggested. Both sides need to agree on the penalties or solution they want. Once they are able to do so, this plea bargain may go before the judge for approval. The majority of plea bargains are approved by a judge, but the judge also has the right to deny the plea bargain and continue on with the case.

A plea bargain could help you. If this is a good choice, your attorney can give you more information on what to expect.

Source: American Bar Association, "Steps in a Trial," accessed June 16, 2017

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