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Why Are Plea Bargains Used In So Many Cases?

  • By: Patrick Long
  • Published: January 14, 2021

A: Sometimes because there are benefits to plea bargaining; sometimes because lawyers are lazy. I get a lot of business from immigrants who were screwed over by their previous criminal attorney because the attorney did not analyze how someone’s situation is different if they are not a US citizen, and therefore did not advise them correctly. Common benefits of plea bargains can include getting a disposition that won’t show up when prospective employers do a criminal records check, getting a reduction of the charges (especially when one or more charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence and the government agrees to dismiss those charges in exchange for pleading to the rest), or negotiating a disposition with no or reduced risk of immigration consequences. But immigration law is weird and some things that can be helpful for other purposes can be useless or even harmful in an immigration context.

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