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What is a plea bargain?

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After a felony charge in Nebraska, you could be expecting a prolonged courtroom battle that keeps you from returning to your life for months, or even years, if you are convicted. The American Bar Association explains that depending on your circumstances, a plea bargain may be an option that allows you to skip the trial and negotiate a potentially better outcome with the prosecution.

You do not necessarily have to plead guilty to the charges against you. Instead, your guilty plea may be to a charge that is not as serious as the original one you were facing. Or, if you are facing several charges, you may plead guilty to only one of them. Sometimes, even if you plead guilty to the charges, you may be able to get a more lenient sentence. 

Even though your case may not go to trial, you may still have to go before the judge. Often, the agreement that you and the prosecution come to must be approved by the court. However, a prosecutor may side-step the need to involve a judge in some cases if you plead guilty to a lesser offense and the charges against you are dropped.

There are other benefits to plea bargaining. By avoiding a trial, your case may not be made public until after the court has announced the outcome of the plea bargain. You could also avoid the time and expense it would take. The prosecution saves time and money, too, and plea bargains keep the court dockets from becoming too backed up. Although this information is intended to educate, it should not be interpreted as legal advice.

 

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