When a New York resident is charged with a crime, there are three areas of negotiation that a defense attorney may potentially use if the prosecution has strong evidence. These areas include charge bargaining, sentence bargaining and fact bargaining.
Charge bargaining is where the attorney and the prosecution negotiate on what charges the defendant will actually face. For example, if the defendant agrees to plead guilty, the prosecutor may dismiss some of the more severe charges. Sentence bargaining is where the defendant agrees to plead guilty in return for a lighter penalty. Fact bargaining, which is the least used form of plea bargaining, is when a defendant admits to certain facts so that the prosecutor does not introduce other evidence to the case.
In order for a plea bargain to be accepted by the court, defendants must understand what it means to waive their rights and voluntarily do so. Additionally, the prosecutor must have a factual basis to support the charges that the defendant is pleading guilty to. Additionally, those who are considering a plea bargain should discuss the long-term ramifications that could impact their ability to return to normal life once they have finished their sentence.
When people are considering a plea bargain to reduce the severity of any possible sentences, a criminal defense attorney may assist with determining what complications they could face if they did accept the plea bargain. Additionally, the attorney may also continue with negotiations to determine if there may be a better outcome available for the defendant. Otherwise, the attorney may recommend going through with a trial especially if the evidence against the defendant is not strong or if it was improperly obtained.