Negotiated Plea

If you are arrested in Pennsylvania, your case will work through Pennsylvania’s legal system. The system is complex and involves multiple steps, beginning with the initial arraignment. The process then goes all the way through a trial, to sentencing. However, there is a high probability that your case will not go through all these steps. It can be settled at any point along the way. One of the ways this can happen is with a negotiated plea.

What Is a Negotiated Plea?

After the pretrial conferences are finished, and your Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer has evaluated the evidence gathered from the investigation, you have two options: you can decide to go ahead with a trial, or you can offer a guilty plea. To plead guilty involves admitting that you did the things you are accused of. One form of a guilty plea is a “negotiated plea.” Other terms for this are “plea bargain” and “plea deal.”

If you are successful in negotiating a plea, it means you and your lawyer come to an agreement with the prosecutor concerning your charge and/or sentence. In a negotiated plea, you agree to plead guilty to at least one of your charges, if not more, usually the less serious crimes that you were originally charged with. In this bargain, you ask for a lighter sentence in exchange for your admission to the commission of the crimes.

Once negotiated, the prosecutor and your lawyer will submit your deal to the judge who is hearing your case. In general, plea bargains are accepted by judges. The judge will then give you the sentence agreed upon in the plea bargain. However, the judge retains the right to turn your plea deal down. If that happens, he or she can force you to choose between negotiating another deal or going forward with a trial.

There are advantages to you if you negotiate a plea. Your sentence will not be as severe as it could be if you went forward with a trial and were found guilty. And, you are spared the worry about what your sentence will be if you go to trial.

Charge Bargaining and Sentence Bargaining

To make the plea bargaining convenient, attorneys and judges segregate plea bargaining into types: sentence bargaining and charge bargaining. In the sentence bargaining, the prosecutor agrees to suggest a lighter sentence for specific allegations if the defendant pleads guilty or no contest. Charge bargaining means the prosecutor agrees to drop some charges in exchange for pleading guilty by the defendant.

Plea Bargains Negotiation Process

In any stage of the criminal justice process, plea bargaining can take place. Generally, after the arrest of the defendant, and before the filing of criminal charges by the prosecutor, plea deals can be struck. A successful plea deal is executed by a professional Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer like the attorneys at Sean Logue Law, who have experience in this process.

Why Hire a Lawyer?

The choice to acknowledge or dismiss a charge and the sentence of a plea deal ought to be made only after a detailed consultation with your Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer. Don’t delay! Call the offices of Sean Logue Law now at 1-844-PITT-DUI or 412-389-0805, or contact us online.