plea bargainingplea bargaining
pretrial negotiations in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for having a more serious charge dropped
- The process of negotiating a verdict and sentence without a complete trial.
plea bargaining - Legal Definition
A negotiation between prosecutor and defendant in a criminal case in an attempt to reach a mutually satisfactory middle ground and, therefore, obviate the need for a trial. Usually it consists of the defendant’s pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a lesser sentence than he might receive had he been convicted on the original charge(s).