New York residents who understand the concept of a plea bargain might still not be familiar with the principle of “judicial economy” that makes it so attractive to judges and prosecutors. Judicial economy is the idea that moving cases efficiently through the court system is an important part of the legal process. A plea bargain allows a case to be resolved without requiring a court trial. It is believed that eliminating these types of agreements would tax the court system beyond its ability to cope.
Judges and prosecutors have busy calendars, and both would prefer to reserve court time and prison space for more serious cases. Some prosecutors may also be working with limited resources as well and would prefer to put their time and money toward the cases they deem the most important.
Another advantage for prosecutors is that a plea bargain still counts as a win for them. Furthermore, it removes the uncertainty that a trial represents. Even with the best evidence, the outcome of a trial can be unpredictable. The attraction for for judges is that they view a plea bargain as more likely to lead to compliance. This is because the agreement is arrived at through a process of negotiation.
A plea bargain is one of several options a person who is facing criminal charges might have. In some cases, it might be a good one because it can result in lesser penalties. However, in other cases, a defendant might prefer to plead innocent and fight the charges in court. Those who are facing criminal charges may want to discuss these options and the best strategy to pursue with their attorneys.