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.

Why are plea bargains used?

Plea bargaining may be criticized by many in Kentucky and across the U.S., but in truth, it is how the great majority of criminal trials are settled. Not only do they help ease crowded court dockets, they give prosecutors an opportunity to guarantee a conviction. For defendants, a plea bargain is a chance to receive a lighter sentence, as well as a somewhat better record.

The American Bar Association adds that plea bargains also benefit courts and prosecutors the time and cost of long trials and multiple charges, while defendants save both the cost of a trial defense, as well as publicity. Either side, defense or prosecution, can open negotiations in a plea bargain, which typically requires a guilty plea from the defendant for a lesser charge or a plea on one charge in exchange for dismissal of other charges.

It is up to the judge whether to accept the plea bargain, as he or she is not bound to follow the prosecutor's suggestions, however. Although, it is still the prosecutor's decision on what charges to file against the accused.

While once a mostly private procedure, a greater recognition of victims' rights has led to the widespread passage of legislation that gives victims the ability to participate in the plea-bargaining process. The specifics of an agreement won't be known openly, however until prosecutors announce them in court.

Along with plea bargains, courts generally encourage the use of diversion programs that allow lesser crimes to be handled without going through the full trial process. In these cases, the defendant is typically offered probation in exchange for completing a rehabilitation program and/or making restitution for his or her actions. Restitution may include monetary compensation for damage and community service. Once this arrangement is successfully completed, the defendant typically may request that the charges be expunged, or removed, from his or her record.

The information in this article is of a general nature and is not intended as legal advice.

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