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What is a Plea Bargain? Criminal Defense

What is a Plea Bargain?

4 years ago by Justin M. Schiks
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Plea bargains are an alternative to taking a criminal case to trial and letting a jury decide the outcome. Plea bargains can sometimes be beneficial to criminal defendants, depending on the circumstances of the criminal charge. 

In the State of Minnesota, a very small number of criminal cases are actually tried before a jury. Those cases avoid going to trial because they are resolved by way of a plea bargain. In a nutshell, a plea bargain is an agreement that is made between the prosecutor who is assigned to the criminal case and the accused individual (the defendant). 

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When a defendant agrees to accept a plea deal, he or she will plead guilty to certain charges in exchange for certain terms related to sentencing. Also, when accepting a plea deal, the defendant will give up certain constitutional rights, such as the right to a trial by jury. 

The experienced Woodbury criminal defense lawyers at JS Defense, P.A., can help you decide whether accepting a plea deal is the right choice in your criminal case. Please give us a call today to find out more about how we can assist you throughout your criminal legal matter. 

Potential Topics that a Plea Bargain May Cover

There are numerous topics that a Minnesota plea bargain may cover. These topics include all of the following:

  1. The length of the sentence, such as decreasing the sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to the offense
  2. Charge modification, including imposing a reduced charge in exchange for entering a guilty plea
  3. Stay of execution, which means not having to serve the full sentence in jail in exchange for pleading guilty to the charge
  4. Stay of imposition, which allows for the conviction to be reduced from a felony down to a misdemeanor, assuming the accused completes his or her term of probation successfully, in exchange for a guilty plea
  5. Stay of adjudication, which allows for the accused to receive a complete dismissal of his or her charge, in exchange for pleading guilty
  6. Dismissal of other related pending criminal charges that the accused might be facing

Reasons to Accept a Pending Plea Bargain

Deciding whether or not to accept a pending plea bargain is often a difficult decision. In most instances, plea bargains allow the accused to obtain a result that is far better than the potential consequences of losing the case at a criminal jury trial. However, depending upon the strength of the prosecution’s evidence against the defendant (or lack thereof), it may be better to roll the dice and risk taking the case to trial in some circumstances. This is especially true because a guilty plea can have many lasting implications, even if you have a favorable plea bargain. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you decide whether a particular plea bargain is worth accepting in your criminal case and can assist you with negotiating a fair deal with the prosecuting attorney. 

Talk to a Woodbury Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today

The legal team at JS Defense, P.A., can answer all of your questions about plea bargains in Minnesota. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Woodbury criminal defense attorney, please call us today at (651) 968-9652 or contact us online for more information.



Award-winning criminal defense attorney with a proven track record of dismissals, acquittals, and positive resolutions for his clients. For over a decade, Justin has dedicated himself to criminal and DWI defense. He has advocated for individuals through every step of a case, from pre-charge representation through pretrial hearings and trials.


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