A plea bargain is offered to those who have been accused of committing crimes. They are so common, in fact, that 90% of defendants accept plea bargains. They do so mainly because plea bargains mean that they do not have to go to trial. While plea bargains are extraordinarily popular, they are also controversial.
Plea bargains are controversial for many reasons. Many question the ethics of plea bargains because their primary purpose is to prevent the courts from being overwhelmed with trials. Whether a person accepts a plea bargain has little to do with whether they are innocent or guilty, meaning that very often justice is not done. If you have been recently accused of a crime and you are unsure of whether to accept a plea bargain, the following are some things that will be helpful to know.
They suppress the rights of low-income defendants
Those who have a low income have limited means to fund a robust defense in court. Therefore, even if they are innocent, they may lack the confidence and the funds to adequately defend themselves, and they may feel forced to plead guilty and accept the plea bargain.
Prosecutors may use plea bargains for their own gain
A defendant may be able to secure a lucrative plea deal in return for providing a damaging testimony to a co-defendant. Therefore, prosecutors often act strategically to secure plea deals that will help them further their case. The reliability of this information can, however, be brought into question because the defendant was acting for their own gain.
It can guarantee a more lenient sentence
While a plea bargain is never really in the interests of an innocent person, it can help others to gain a more lenient sentence and to save money on a trial.
If you have recently been accused of a crime, it is important that you understand as much as you can about plea bargains. Doing so will help you to make an informed decision.