plea bargain

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plea bargain

n. in criminal procedure, a negotiation between the defendant and his attorney on one side and the prosecutor on the other, in which the defendant agrees to plead "guilty" or "no contest" to some crimes, in return for reduction of the severity of the charges, dismissal of some of the charges, the prosecutor's willingness to recommend a particular sentence, or some other benefit to the defendant. Sometimes one element of the bargain is that the defendant reveal information such as location of stolen goods, names of others participating in the crime, or admission of other crimes (such as a string of burglaries). The judge must agree to the result of the plea bargain before accepting the sentence. If he does not, then the bargain is cancelled. Reasons for the bargaining include a desire to cut down on the number of trials, danger to the defendant of a long term in prison if convicted after trial, and the ability to get information on criminal activity from the defendant. There are three dangers: a) an innocent defendant may be pressured into a confession and plea out of fear of a severe penalty if convicted; b) particularly vicious criminals will get lenient treatment and be back "on the street" in a short time; c) results in unequal treatment. Public antipathy to plea bargaining has led to some state statutes prohibiting the practice, but informal discussions can get around the ban. (See: plea, cop a plea)

References in periodicals archive ?
His plea agreement does not suggest what his sentence is likely to be, although his decision to waive indictment and plead guilty will work in his favor.
According to the plea agreement, Nirschl will forfeit a $224,834 house, a 2013 Acura MDX, estimated to be currently worth approximately $17,000, according to Kelly Blue Book and $130,000 in cash.
The partial admission is allowed by the legislator in the new Criminal procedure code only for the criminal prosecution phase, being provided the possibility that during this phase, after being initiated the criminal proceedings, the defendant admits he/she committed only some of the deeds for which the criminal proceedings had been initiated against him/her, case in which a guilty plea agreement could be entered into by him/her and the case prosecutor for these deeds, in the limits established through the written and prior notice of the prosecutor which is hierarchically superior to the case prosecutor, as it results from the provisions of article 478 paragraph (1), (4) and article 483, paragraph (2) of the new Criminal procedure code.
The 19-page plea agreement says: "The defendant agrees to furnish to the office all documents and other material that may be relevant to this investigation.
As part of their plea agreements, Duke Energy Business Services, Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress will pay a $68 million criminal fine and a total $24 million community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for the benefit of the riparian environment and ecosystems of North Carolina and Virginia.
The US Army too confirmed that Bales is scheduled to enter into a plea agreement.
According to the report, the plea agreement offered insight into the apparent sequence of events that fateful night and implicated Shrien Dewani as the conspirator of a contract killing.
The plea agreement recommends that Harris-Moore will have to face up to six-and-a-half years in prison to resolve the federal aspects of his two-year crime spree.
Criminal Law--Fourth Circuit Allows [section] 3582(c)(2) Sentence Modification Under Rule 11 Plea Agreement to Specific Term--United States v.
Headley's admission that he was reporting to LeT members and " other associates" in Pakistan on the 26/ 11 plan is contained in his written plea agreement before the court.