If you’ve spent any time in the legal system, or if you’ve watched legal dramas on TV, you’ve heard the term “plea deal.” But what does it mean, and how could it help you when you go to court?
What is a Plea Deal?
A plea deal, which is an informal term for a plea bargain, is a deal an attorney or someone accused of a crime makes with a prosecuting attorney (the lawyer that represents the state in criminal cases).
This agreement between the defendant (the person accused of the crime) and the prosecutor usually involves the prosecutor dropping or lessening one or more charges in exchange for a guilty plea on another charge, or the prosecutor recommending a specific sentence to the judge in exchange for a guilty plea.
Plea deals are very common because they allow courts to move cases through more quickly while still providing acceptable outcomes for everyone involved.
When Does a Plea Deal Happen, and How Does It Work?
A plea deal can take place at any stage of the legal process. Usually, what happens is that the defendant’s attorney talks to the prosecutor. The prosecutor will tell the lawyer what type of agreement is possible (if any agreement is possible, that is) and the attorney will take the options back to his or her client. If this happens in your case, it’s completely up to you whether to accept the deal or reject it. Your lawyer may advise you to accept it, if he or she thinks it’s the best-case scenario, or to reject it if he or she believes you’ll have a better outcome in court.
Do You Need to Talk to a Milwaukee Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Call us at 414-383-6700. If it’s easier, get in touch with us online to schedule a free consultation with an attorney today.