Many people who are charged with crimes will eventually have their cases resolved through plea bargains. In fact, most criminal cases are resolved in this way. There are several reasons why plea offers are made and why judges in Missouri and around the country often accept them.
The court system has limited resources in terms of time and available money. Prosecutors likewise have a limited ability to take every case they are assigned to all the way through trial. If every case was forced to go to trial, it would simply be impossible for all of them to be heard. The system of plea bargaining is an approach that is accepted largely because of the limitations of the judicial system.
Often, a person will be charged with several different offenses. A criminal defense attorney often investigates the client’s case thoroughly. Factors taken into account include the client’s criminal history and relationships, the facts and circumstances of the case and whether there were constitutional problems with how the police conducted the investigation. Doing so helps the attorney be in a better position to negotiate with the assigned prosecutor in order to try to secure an offer to a lesser offense, for a dismissal of charges and for lighter sentences.
Facing criminal charges can be frightening for defendants. A criminal defense attorney’s job is to act as an advocate for their clients to try to get them the best resolution possible for their charges. In some cases, that may mean the attorney will recommend accepting an offered plea. In others, the attorney may believe, after reviewing the case facts, that the client may want to take their case to trial and fight it. No matter what the attorney’s recommendation may be, though, the client always has the right to go to trial even if a plea arrangement is offered.