An arrest for a serious crime could leave a defendant looking at multiple felony and misdemeanor counts. The defendant might worry about a conviction and subsequent harsh sentencing in a Mississippi courtroom when the evidence is compelling. In such situations, the accused may explore options for plea bargains.
Plea bargaining involves the defense and the prosecution negotiating a resolution to criminal charges. Court trials could be costly for both parties, and the trial may crowd the court docket with cases that could be resolved in other ways. The defendant may realize that a guilty verdict at trial would be likely, and a plea deal might result in a preferable outcome.
For example, the defendant may agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge if the prosecutor drops the primary charge. The guilty plea to the lesser charge could lead to less punitive sentencing.
Mississippi criminal law statutes allow for more than plea bargaining the charges. It could also be possible to negotiate reduced sentencing. A particular criminal offense might present a maximum of 10 years in prison, but the defense could negotiate for fewer years.
The defendant might be unaware of other approaches to plea bargaining. Plea negotiations surrounding facts could be a lesser-known option. With fact bargaining, the defendant might agree to support the prosecutor’s facts about drug possession with the understanding that the prosecutor won’t mention facts about selling drugs.
Rushing to accept a plea bargain deal might not be in the defendant’s best interests. The prosecutor’s initial offer might not be the best deal available, so it could be advisable to weigh options before making decisions.