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How does a plea bargain benefit those facing criminal charges?

When things don't go the way we planned, we often resort to a "Plan B" that is a reasonable alternative to what we hoped for. This is true in the area of criminal defense as well as in life; many defendants often consider a plea bargain if their chances of acquittal are low. What is a plea bargain and how can it benefit Spokane defendants?

First, not every defendant will consider plea negotiation. In some instances a skilled criminal defense attorney will assess the prosecution and conclude that their evidence is weak and the chances of avoiding a conviction are favorable. However, in many instances a plea bargain may be necessary in order to offer the best possible outcome to a defendant. By consulting with an experienced attorney, a defendant can learn more about the benefits a plea bargain can provide.

A favorable plea bargain can come in several different forms. A person charged with several counts of the same crime might plead guilty in exchange for all but one of the counts being dismissed. Another scenario is when a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge so that a charge with more serious penalties gets dismissed. A defendant might also plead guilty in order to obtain a less serious sentence than one they might receive after being found guilty at trial.

What some may not realize is that a plea bargain can benefit those accused of misdemeanors as well as those accused of felony offenses. While the ultimate goal is to avoid a criminal conviction, some criminal convictions are much worse than others. A competent criminal defense attorney can offer strategic legal advice on how to negotiate effectively in the courtroom.

Source: FindLaw, "Plea bargains overview," accessed Oct. 19, 2015

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