What Is A Plea Bargain?

In most cases, the defendant will not be assessed the maximum fine for any given crime. One can reasonably expect to be offered a plea bargain. A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant, which must be approved by the court. As in any negotiation or agreement, the parties attempt to work out a resolution of the charge. Plea bargains are based upon facts. Better facts for the defendant means a better plea bargain. Worse facts mean tougher a plea bargain.

In each case, the plea bargain is controlled by the facts of the case, which means that each plea bargain offered can be different from one offered to someone else. Most often, a person is able to get a deferred judgment and sentence, which means the defendant pleads guilty or no contest to the charge, and the sentencing is put off for a period of time. During that time, the defendant is required to complete certain tasks, such as attending AA meetings or counseling, performing community service, and completing alcohol abuse training. If the defendant successfully completes the requirements and has no more violations of the law, the charge is either dismissed or reduced to some traffic offense that is not related to alcohol. This acts to keep the DUI charge from appearing on a person’s traffic record.