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Felony arrest can lead to a plea bargain, less time in jail

No matter what you did, getting charged with a felony is frightening. You need to know that there is a good chance that an attorney can plea bargain your case down to a lesser plea of guilty that may see your sentence mitigated or reduced. Plea bargains are common in the U.S. legal system. Approximately 90 percent of all criminal cases involve a plea bargain of some sort.

A plea bargain is an agreement in a criminal case between the defendant and the prosecutor. The agreement is that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime than originally charged with, thus eliminating the need for a lengthy and expensive trial. There is a mutual understanding that the case has both strengths and weaknesses and a trial may not be the best route to go for either side.

Courts are overcrowded and if we didn't have plea bargains, the system would fail and the waiting list would be daunting. It may even cause the system to shut down completely. Prosecutors are overworked and many times cannot commit the time and energy necessary to bring the whole story to court. Fewer trials free up valuable time for prosecutors to focus on more important trials.

There are different types of plea bargains that the courts recognize. They include charge bargaining, sentence bargaining and fact bargaining. Charge bargaining is when the defendant pleads to a lesser crime. Sentence bargaining is less common and is when the defendant agrees to plead guilty to the crime he or she was charged with in order to get a lesser sentence. Fact bargaining is when the defendant admits certain facts in order to see other facts left out of the court action. This is the one that is least common.

If you are facing a criminal charge, you need to be aware that there are good attorneys available who can plead your case down and are not afraid to bring your case to court and fight for your freedom.

Source: FindLaw, "Plea Bargains: In Depth," accessed Oct. 26, 2015

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