What is plea bargaining? And do I as a victim have anything to say about it?

There are not enough prosecutors, judges, or courtrooms to try before a jury all of the cases filed each year in the 11th Judicial District. For those defendants taken to trial, or for those who plead guilty before a trial, there are not enough jail cells in the state to hold them. These practical demands plus the defendant's right to a speedy trial, the seriousness of the cases, the strengths or weaknesses of cases, the victim's wishes, public safety, punishment, rehabilitation, and deterrence are all interests that are considered by the prosecutor when deciding how to proceed. A plea agreement is always designed to balance these competing interests. Most cases are resolved in a relatively short time by the defendant's plea, many times a plea to the charged offense. Our office does take victim concerns into consideration when we are crafting a plea agreement.

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