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How do plea bargains work?

Have you or has someone you know been arrested and charged with a crime in Minnesota? Maybe you have even been charged with more than one offense. When this happens, it can be hard to know what to expect next and how you should proceed. Depending upon your situation, you may find that a plea bargain can be benefical for you. Understanding exactly what a plea bargain is and how it works is important in order to make this decision.

According to the American Bar Association, a plea bargain essentially involves both sides of a criminal case making a deal potentially each conceding something. As the defendant, you may elect to plead guilty to a particular charge in exchange for having other charges against you dropped. You may also end up pleading guilty to a charge that is less serious than the one you were originally charged with.

The courts end up being able to reduce their loads which can save them time and money. You may be able to have less severe penalties such as a shorter sentence than you might have otherwise. A plea bargain also eliminates the uncertainty and costs involved with going all the way to trial.

Either your defense attorney or the prosecuting attorney may initiate the conversation about a plea bargain. In some cases, a judge or court may need to sign off on any agreement but this is not always the case. Many different types of criminal charges such as those related to weapons or drugs may be subject to plea bargains.

 

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