Call Today For A Free Initial Consultation

Law Offices of Lance T. Marshall

What is a plea bargain?

If you are facing criminal charges, you may wonder what your options are. There are criminal defense options, as well as the option of a plea bargain which may be possible depending on the circumstances. It is useful for those facing criminal charges to understand what plea bargaining is and what it entails. There are three areas of negotiation involved in plea bargaining and plea bargains may be different types.

The first type of plea negotiations include charge bargaining. Charge bargaining is a common type of plea bargaining which entails an accused individual pleading guilty to a lesser charge to avoid more serious charges. The more serious charges will be dismissed in return for the accused individual pleading guilty to lesser charges. It is important to note if a plea bargain is accepted, no trial is involved. Alternately, sentence bargaining entails an agreement between the accused individual and the prosecutor for the accused individual to receive a reduced sentence in exchange for agreeing to plead guilty to the charges they are facing. As is true of any plea agreement, a criminal trial is avoided. Fact bargaining is a third type of plea bargaining in which certain facts are stipulated to and others are not introduced.

In general, certain requirements must be met when a plea agreement is reached including that the accused individual accepting the plea agreement knowingly waives their rights; that the waiver of their rights is voluntary; and that there is a factual basis to support the charges the accused individual is pleading guilty to. Plea agreements are recommended to the court by the prosecutor and must be approved by the court.

A plea bargain must be thoughtfully and carefully considered because the rights of the accused individual are so significantly implicated in the process and some rights are being waived. As is always true when criminal charges and possible penalties are involved, it is important for accused individuals to be thoroughly familiar with all of their criminal defense options.

Source:, "Plea Bargaining: Areas of Negotiation," Accessed Aug. 10, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For a Response

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Office Location:

Law Offices of Lance T. Marshall
250 East Beaver Avenue
Suite 774
State College, PA 16801

Phone: 814-308-0422
Fax: 814-308-8552
State College Law Office Map