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  • Writer's pictureSam Kuhn


We all know the old saying ‘you do the crime; you do the time’ however nowadays it can be more complex than that.

We have all seen and heard on American tv or film the term plea bargain.

But do we know exactly about the legal terms and the ins-and-outs of Australian Law?

At some stage, you may either directly or indirectly be heavily involved in judicial circumstances – so it is best to stay (at least a little bit) on top of things.

So, today – we discuss Plea Bargains or otherwise known as Charge Bargaining. What are they, why are they used, how do they occur and who really gets the bargain? Read on to discover more.

To start, we begin with the basics.

What is a Plea Bargain?

A plea bargain is generally mutually satisfactory (between the prosecutor and the legal representative) and is a negotiation of the criminal charges. The goal is to reduce the charge or face fewer than originally stated (in exchange for letting go of the original charges).

Why are they used?

Think of it as a compromise. A ‘meeting halfway’. “Plea bargains are used to help strike a balance between two competing public interests” (

Court systems generally encourage these Plea Bargains as it can lessen crowded jails and chocked-full criminal court calendars.

How Do They Occur?

Plea bargains are usually initiated by either the defence or the prosecution. Each case is different of course, so negotiations could be straightforward or heavily involved. If both interests agree – the decision to accept the plea offer or proposal falls on the Director (DPP) or a small number of senior lawyers.

Seek Guidance from an Experience Law Firm

Choosing a plea bargain should be discussed between you and your lawyer to weigh up your best chances of reaching your desired outcome.

Creevey Russel Lawyers. A full-service law firm with a reach extending throughout western Queensland and offices in Brisbane, Toowoomba and Roma. Superior legal services delivered direct to the people who need it most. About Creevey Russell

At Creevey Russell Lawyers, the cornerstone of our firm’s approach is effective communication: we listen to our clients and formulate legal approaches based on their specific needs. Our highly skilled team members in Brisbane, Toowoomba, and Roma have a drive to deliver the highest quality professional services that our clients require and expect.


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