13/9/18 Plea bargain agreements

 

In a criminal case, the prosecutor and the defendant’s attorney may discuss and reach a plea agreement, whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to one or more charges (often to a lesser charge than one for which the defendant could stand trial) in exchange for a more lenient sentence, or so that certain related charges are dismissed. The court must not participate in these discussions. In most jurisdictions it resolves most of the criminal cases filed.
Plea bargaining allows defendants to avoid the time and costs of defending themselves at trial, the risk of harsher punishment, and the publicity a trial could involve. Likewise, the prosecution saves the time and expense of a lengthy trial.

Useful language:

To negotiate a plea
Plea bargaining/negotiation
Plea of guilty/not guilty
To enter a guilty plea = to plead guilty