If you have been arrested in the Philadelphia area, your case will work its way through Pennsylvania’s legal system, proceeding through multiple steps that begin with a preliminary arraignment.
The steps in this process go all the way up through a trial and sentencing. But it is likely your case will not proceed through every level. At any time during this process, your case can be settled.
One of the ways your case may be settled is through a negotiated plea.
What A Negotiated Plea Means
After the pre-trial conferences are completed, and your attorney has seen the evidence gathered from discovery, you can either choose to have your case go to trial or you can plead guilty.
Pleading guilty means you admit committing the crimes the Commonwealth accused you of.
One kind of guilty plea is a negotiated plea, also called a plea deal and a plea bargain.
If your case is settled by a negotiated plea it means you and your attorney reached an agreement with the prosecutor concerning your sentence.
In a plea bargain you plead guilty to one or more of the charges, usually the lesser one if there are multiple charges. In exchange, you will draw a lighter sentence.
Your attorney and the prosecutor will present the deal to the judge who will usually accept it and sentence you according to the deal reached. A judge, however, does have the right to reject the plea deal. He or she can compel you to either negotiate another one or go to trial.
Reaching a plea deal has advantages for the defendant. You will serve a less severe sentence than you potentially would if a jury decided against you and you will not have to face the uncertainty of your sentence being decided by a trial.
Questions? Contact us today.
As your case moves through Pennsylvania’s legal system, you need an experienced attorney to defend you. Fienman Defense provides honest communication and gives you the solid guidance you need to avoid severe penalties.