Criminal charges and plea bargains

by Aaron Black • March 10, 2017
Plea bargainIf you are facing criminal charges in Phoenix a common way to resolve the charges is a plea bargain. A plea bargain (agreement) is a compromise between you and the prosecutor which eliminates the need to go to trial. Please be aware that when you plea bargain you will have to confess to being guilty of the charges levied against you.

Three categories of plea bargains

  • Charge bargaining – When you charge bargain, the charges against you will be reduced or dropped entirely in exchange for a guilty plea. Charge bargaining is the most common plea agreement.
     
  • Sentence bargaining – If you agree to a sentence bargain, you will have to plead guilty to the charges in exchange, you will receive a lighter sentence than what the crime you have been charged with would have otherwise imposed upon you.
     
  • Fact bargaining – Not all states allow fact bargaining, however, Arizona does. Though not often used if you fact bargain you will admit to certain facts about the charges against you. The prosecutor will then agree not to enter other facts about the crime into evidence. If a fact bargain is agreed upon between you and the prosecutor, a judge will have to approve it to make it final.
Plea agreements may offer the best resolution for your particular case. Nevertheless, you should make sure that you understand the full extent of the bargain as some come with additional consequences. The results could be the loss of your right to appeal, relinquishing your professional license, virtually ending your career. Also, if you are not a U.S. Citizen, you could be deported if the crime is considered a felony in Phoenix.

Plea bargains do come with benefits such as the assurance of the penalty that you will face as well as a quick resolution to the charges against you, a shorter sentence and the possibility of less damaging charges. Also, if you are in custody, a plea agreement means that you will be free to get out of jail which may be considered probation.

If you are facing criminal charges in Phoenix and you’re not sure if a plea agreement is right for you, contact Aaron Black for a free consultation or call 480-729-1683.