Plea bargaining refers to discussions between the prosecutor and defense attorney about reaching a resolution that ends a case short of trial.
Plea bargaining is a normal part of any criminal case, whether or not you plan on proceeding to trial. We certainly recognize that many lazy, incompetent criminal defense attorneys push their clients to accept pleas. But at the same time, as competent, aggressive criminal defense attorneys, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t figure out what the government was offering.
Our criminal defense attorneys are always prepared to defend you at trial, and you’re never required to enter guilty plea in your case. Plenty of clients aren’t looking to fight their cases through trial, and instead are looking to simply accept responsibility for their actions. Sometimes simply fighting for a reduction in charges is enough. In other cases, avoiding prison or jail is a win. And finally, in all cases, ending a case reduces the constant stress of having a pending criminal charge.
There are certainly disadvantages to settling a case. The defendant waives certain rights when he settles a case. He can’t continue to trial (and earn a not-guilty verdict). He can’t file motions and challenge constitutional issues. And finally, the defendant waives certain appellate rights by entering a guilty plea.