What Is Plea Bargaining?

Occasionally during the period between arraignment and trial, your attorney will persuade the prosecutor to reduce the charge pending against you to a lesser charge with a less severe penalty in return for your plea of guilty or no contest to the amended charge. Sometimes the prosecutor will dismiss the charge altogether if you agree to pay the court costs.

If you are not represented by an attorney you may be tempted to discuss your case with the prosecutor to try to persuade him or her to reduce or dismiss the charge. This is usually a mistake. Anything you say to the prosecutor regarding your case that might be incriminating can be used against you later in court.