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plea agreement, Skokie criminal defense attorneyMost cases in the Illinois criminal justice system do not end in a trial. Instead, in most cases a criminal defendant accepts a plea deal also known as a plea bargain. Before you decide if a plea bargain is right for you, you need to understand how they work.

The Criminal Justice Process

Plea bargains are used by prosecutors to help keep the criminal justice system moving efficiently. Often a defendant will receive a plea offer early in the case. One of the first formal steps in a criminal case is the arraignment. This is a court hearing at which the defendant is told what he or she is being charged with and where the defendant enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or other legally acceptable plea.

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