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What are some of the consequences of plea bargaining?

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Quick Answer

The consequences of plea bargaining include the reality that the defendant must admit guilt and he loses the right to convince a judge or jury of his innocence, Criminal Defense Lawyer explains. Consequences for the prosecution include the possibility that the pubic and victim may show anger toward the prosecution for settlement in a crime that may warrant a harsher outcome.

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Full Answer

When a defendant takes a plea bargain, he is essentially pleading guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence or charge, Criminal Defense Lawyer notes. This means he must appear before a judge and admit guilt. The consequence of a court appearance means the defendant may have to listen to the judge's voir dire, which is an oral examination of the defendant. A judge asks if the defendant understands he's giving up the right to have a fair trial, call witnesses and testify on his own behalf. The judge also asks defendants if they understand the elements of any offenses they're set to plead guilty to.

The plea bargain won't be complete until the defendant passes the judge's voir dire, so defense attorneys may spend a good deal of time preparing the defendant for this examination before the court, Criminal Defense Lawyer notes. Those who have a difficult time admitting guilt may have a hard time during the oral examination process.

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