Plea Deals, Trials, & Sentencing

Most criminal cases—somewhere between 90 to 97%—end by plea bargain. The remaining cases might be dismissed or resolved in earlier stages of the criminal justice process, and some will go to trial. Due to sheer volume of criminal cases filed, the criminal justice system would come to a screeching halt if all cases went to trial. And serving time behind bars isn’t the ideal solution for every offender. Other resolutions can be favorable to the system and a defendant’s rehabilitation, such as community service, substance abuse counseling, employment, or education. Learn about plea bargains and the various dispositions and sentencing options that can resolve a criminal case, including their advantages and disadvantages.

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