Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold
Call For A Free Consultation
859-353-0878 | 800-494-9916
Menu Contact
Due to precautions related to COVID-19, we have expanded our options for remote consultations. Please contact our office to discuss whether a full phone consultation or video conference is appropriate for your situation.

Crowded courts give rise to plea bargaining

It is generally known that courts in Kentucky and throughout the U.S. are overcrowded. In fact, it has led jurisdictions all over the country to institute night courts to handle preliminary legal proceedings and lesser charges, such as arraignments and traffic citations, to ensure time during the week for other business. Another result of having crowded dockets is the wide use of plea bargaining to resolve cases.

According to The Atlantic, plea bargains account for the way 97 percent of all federal cases are concluded, which mirrors the rates for individual states' plea bargains in criminal cases. The practice took root following the Civil War, as displaced citizens and immigrants poured into cities and crime rates began to rise. It continued to be a common practice, one that was cemented with the federal government's enactment of prohibition and the resulting number of cases that flooded the court system. The use of plea bargains in resolving cases in New York and Chicago rose to 88 percent and 85 percent, respectively.

The American Bar Association points out several reasons for both prosecutors and defendants to consider plea bargaining. For defendants, it means saving time and money for trial preparation and trial. Defendants also avoid publicity, plus the possibility of a guilty verdict and resulting punishment, which is likely to be harsher than what is offered in a plea bargain. The court system benefits by saving the time and cost of trial on every charge made against defendant. Prosecutors save time and the cost of investigation, trial preparation and trial itself. Finally, both sides benefit by saving the stress and emotional turmoil of a trial.

A plea bargain can be initiated by either side, however it is subject to judicial approval. Typical agreements require the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge than the original. If there are several charges, the agreement may be a guilty plea to one charge in return for dropping the others. Or, the defendant may be offered a recommendation for a lighter sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Free Consultation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Flexible Appointments And Meeting Locations

We offer flexible appointments to accommodate your busy schedule. In addition to regular business hours, our attorneys are able to meet with injured clients, who are unable to travel, on nights and weekends, as well as at off-site locations such as your home, office or hospital.

Call Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold at 859-353-0878 to schedule a free consultation today. You can also send us an email. Flexible appointments available.

Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold

225 West Irvine Street
Richmond, KY 40475

Toll Free: 800-494-9916
Phone: 859-353-0878
Fax: 859-623-6406
Richmond Law Office Map

P.O. Box 157
Richmond, KY 40476