Plea bargain

Negotiations between the defence counsel and Crown prosecutor concerning the charges and pleas of the accused. The Crown may accept a guilty plea on a lesser charge instead of incurring the expense and time of a trial on the original charge. The Crown may also agree to make a joint submission to the judge on the appropriate sentence, if the accused agrees to plead guilty.

An agreement about the resolution of charges, usually made between the Crown prosecutor and defence counsel, that the accused will plead guilty to one or more charges if the Crown drops other charges or agrees to make “joint submissions” (with the defence counsel) about an appropriate sentence. While the judge is not bound to follow a joint submission or plea bargain about a sentence, it is usually adopted by the court. The term “plea resolution discussion” is sometimes used in more formal contexts instead of “plea bargain,” to emphasize that the court is not bound by the outcome of these discussions.

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