Describe the process of plea bargaining

You are a county prosecutor. You have been presented with a case involving an alleged drug dealer who was arrested three days ago on the street. He was in possession of crack and crystal methamphetamine, packaged in small baggies, indicating the intent to sell. These drugs have been on the rise in your area recently, and there is pressure from the community to make improvements. You feel you have strong evidence against the dealer, including several “buys” caught on videotape. The defendant’s attorney tells you the defendant is willing to cooperate by telling the police about an upcoming shipment of drugs-there might be an opportunity to arrest bigger players.

1. Describe the procedures that took place after the defendant was arrested. Are there any rules that specify how the defendant and the case are handled?

2. Describe the process of plea bargaining. What is it? Why does it take place?

3. Would you offer the dealer a plea bargain? If so, what would be the terms you offer? If not, what charges would you file? Explain the factors that would go into your decision making.

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