Why Do Prosecutors Offer Plea Bargains?
Many people, especially victims of crime, wonder why prosecutors offer plea bargains. In truth, plea bargains are often offered to defendants in order to keep the justice system moving along and to keep prisons from becoming overcrowded. Judges simply do not have the time to hear every case that hits their docket. Here are just a few reasons why a prosecutor will offer a plea bargain instead of taking you to court.
Jails in every state face overcrowding, as do prisons. When jails and prisons have more inmates than they can safely handle, judges may be forced to let inmates out before they have completed their sentences. If a judge accepts a plea bargain, the defendant often does not go to jail or, in the event that they do, does not go to jail for as long of a period of time as their crime technically demands.
If a judge gets bogged down with cases, so does a prosecutor. This may mean that a case is not given the attention it deserves. Staff becomes overworked and resources become thinned. Offering plea bargains often quickens the process of resolving a case to the satisfaction of all involved. Prosecutors can then concentrate their efforts on the most serious cases.
In some cases, prosecutors rely on informants. Many of these informants have criminal records and are working in exchange for some type of legal favor. If these people were to testify, it could throw a wrench in the case. Being forced to testify could also open an information to criminal charges of their own if their criminal history is called as evidence.
Help In Other Cases
Another reason prosecutors may offer plea bargains is to secure help with another case. For example, if the person charged with a crime can give testimony about an unresolved case, the prosecutor may offer that person a deal in exchange for their testimony.
Plea bargains are not offered lightly or without forethought. While there are many reasons that plea bargains are offered, they are not offered freely.
If you have been charged with DUI in Atlanta, you may be able to gain a plea bargain of your own. Contact the experienced attorneys at Hawkins Spizman Fortas for assistance with your case. Let us put our knowledge of the local court system to work for you today.