When Does Plea Agreement Happen

As a copy editor, I am happy to provide an article on «when does plea agreement happen,» addressing the legal process in the United States.

A plea agreement, also known as a plea bargain, is a legal agreement between the prosecution and the defendant in a criminal case. In general, a plea agreement involves the defendant pleading guilty to a lesser charge or receiving a reduced sentence in exchange for agreeing to forgo a trial.

The decision to enter into a plea agreement typically occurs after the defendant has been arrested, charged with a crime, and arraigned, or formally charged in court. The prosecution may make an offer to the defendant, usually through their attorney, suggesting that they plead guilty to a lesser charge or a reduced sentence. The defendant then has the option to accept or reject the plea deal.

In some cases, plea agreements can be reached before the case goes to trial. This can occur through negotiations between the prosecution and the defense or as part of pre-trial discussions. If a plea deal is reached at this stage, the defendant may not even need to appear in court.

However, plea agreements can also be reached after a trial has begun. This can happen if the trial is not going well for either side, or if new evidence comes to light. In these cases, the prosecution and defense may decide to enter into a plea agreement in order to avoid a full trial and the increased risk of a harsher sentence.

It is important to note that plea agreements are not always guaranteed. Some defendants may choose to take their chances at trial, either because they believe they are innocent or they feel they have a better chance of receiving a lighter sentence through a trial.

In conclusion, plea agreements typically happen after a defendant has been charged with a crime and arraigned, but they can also occur before or even during a trial. They are a way for defendants to receive a reduced sentence or plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for avoiding a full trial.