Because plea bargains are a common part of the criminal justice process, it is important to understand what the different types of plea bargains are. It is essential that accused individuals understand their criminal defense options but also understand the plea bargaining process because many criminal cases are resolved through the plea bargaining process.

Plea negotiations fall into different categories. One type of plea negotiation is charge bargaining. In circumstances of charge bargaining, the accused individual will provide a guilty plea in exchange for the charges being reduced or certain charges being eliminated. Sentence bargaining is another type of plea bargaining that involves the accused individual providing a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced sentence or a recommendation for a reduced sentence.

Because a plea bargain entails a waiver of some of the accused individual’s rights, there are certain requirements that must be met as part of the process. It is also essential for accused individuals to carefully understand what a plea bargain entails and be fully familiar with the process. For a plea bargain to be valid, there must be a knowing waiver of rights; the waiver of rights must be voluntary; and there must be a factual basis to support the guilty plea.

Having trained guidance to navigate the plea bargaining process is valuable. It also helps to be familiar with criminal defense options and rights to ensure the accused individual’s interests are protected when they are facing the potential serious penalties and consequences associated with criminal charges.