Plea bargain is a legal term implying that the defendant in a criminal case will have to plead guilty to a lesser charge and the prosecutor will agree to drop a more serious charge against the defendant. A defendant can be offered the opportunity to negotiate a plea bargain so as to ease the punishment he is likely to get. Similarly, most criminal courts employ this negotiation to decongest the courts.
There are many reasons why plea bargains are employed in the legal system. For the defendants, the following are benefits they will enjoy:
This is basically the major reason why defendants enter into plea bargain. Criminal case can attract severe punishments that may include long jail term. If a plea bargain is negotiated, the defendant will have to plead to a lesser charge and have his sentence reduced. Most defendants are advised to toe this line because in most instances the outcome of criminal cases is not predictable.
Get out of jail
If the defendant is already in custody, the criminal defense lawyer and the prosecutors can reach an agreement on plea bargain. The defendant might be advised to accept a plea bargain so he can have his jail term reduced, or come out on probation, or be granted bail.
Conclusively, apart from the above incentives for the defendants, plea bargain can help defendants to have less-serious crime on their record, avoid hassles by the law enforcement agents, and have less social stigma on their record.