Definition of plea bargaining in US English:

plea bargaining


  • An arrangement between a prosecutor and a defendant whereby the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in the expectation of leniency.

    • ‘We have people who are so overwhelmed that they have to reduce the sentences by plea-bargaining.’
    • ‘He said they would be entitled to make representations on the merits of the charges against them, offer evidence as witnesses, and engage the prosecuting authority in plea-bargaining.’
    • ‘The guilty plea procedure is sometimes the result of plea-bargaining between the prosecution and defence counsel.’
    • ‘Pilot schemes saw several benefits, including a reduction in plea-bargaining and downgrading of charges, and an increase in early guilty pleas.’
    • ‘As liberals in today's world we have to accept greater use of intercept communication, surveillance and plea-bargaining.’


  • plea bargain

      • ‘The consequences of the plea bargain were borne entirely by the defendant, but the trial threatened disaster for the lawyer.’
      • ‘He made a plea bargain with prosecutors to avoid a death sentence.’
      • ‘They decide whether to take a case to trial or to offer a plea bargain to avoid trial.’
      • ‘I have a feeling he wasn't too thrilled with the lawyer who'd advised him to take that first plea-bargain.’
      • ‘At the time of the appellants' trial, negotiations for a plea bargain were well advanced but not complete.’


plea bargaining

/ˈplē ˌbärɡəniNG/