Justice Process Plea Bargain (Pre-trial Meeting)
The Crown prosecutor and the lawyer for the accused (defence counsel) will meet before the trial date to discuss the case.
What happens at a pre-trial meeting?
The Crown prosecutor and defence counsel may negotiate a plea bargain. This is an agreement that the accused will plead guilty to the crime. In exchange for the guilty plea, the Crown may agree to:
- Withdraw some of the charges
- reduce the charge to a lesser offence
- ask the court for a lighter sentence
If the prosecutor and defence counsel can agree on certain facts about the case, it will make the trial shorter.
Why are there plea bargains?
Plea bargains may be in everyone’s interest, as long as the outcome is a just one.
- The victim will not have to testify at court.
- The government does not have to pay for a long and expensive trial.
- The accused can start serving the sentence right away.
The victim does not take part in the plea bargain discussions, but can find out about this by talking to the Crown prosecutor.