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 ?
com/2017/10/16/mark-salling-suicide-attempt-cut-wrists-child-porn-plea-bargain/) TMZ , Salling cut his wrists before entering a plea deal.
The prosecution recommended four to seven years in prison under the plea deal.
Turning down an early plea deal generally ensures that worse ones will be offered as time goes on, or at least that's the threat communicated by prosecutors.
He added there had been a ''great deal'' of discussion recently about a possible plea deal.
Global Banking News-February 11, 2015--US puts pressure on banks for plea deals
Meanwhile, a relative of Silva's, who asked not to be named to avoid involvement in the case, said he has spoken with Silva on the phone since his arraignment, most recently around Thanksgiving, but had not yet heard about a plea deal.
Prosecutor Bob Lane said that Garrett's family members live out of state, but had been made aware of the plea deal.
The Canadian singer and and Miami Beach prosecutors will not strike a plea deal and sources connected with the case say a trial is now almost certain, TMZ.
Well, Farrah is putting this incident behind her by striking the ever popular plea deal.
The plea deal Tuesday marks a stunning reversal for an inmate who was just 16 years old when he was arrested in the fire.
The troubled 26-year-old actress turned herself in to police in California as a formality Tuesday, the day after she accepted a plea deal in her misdemeanor car crash case.
Elaine Tappin said her "overwhelming feeling remains one of anxiety and sadness" but her husband's plea deal with US prosecutors marked "the beginning of the end".