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What is Charge Bargaining?

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If you have been charged with a criminal offense, your Texas criminal defense lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to instate a lesser charge.  In Texas criminal law procedure, this is known as “charge bargaining.” In this video, Houston criminal defense attorney, Jim Story discusses the importance of consulting and retaining a criminal lawyer early in the case.

Houston Criminal Law Video Transcription

Charge bargaining is a portion of the criminal proceedings where I talk to the State’s Attorney, or the government’s attorney, if it’s state or federal, and I attempt to convince them that they have overcharged the case, and that you are not guilty of that higher charged offense. But you may be liable on a lower charged offense.

So possibly, they may have charged you with a felony, and I’ll go in and speak with them and show them that it’s not actually a felony, it’s actually a misdemeanor charge. And so we get the charge reduced from the felony level, which is more serious, and it costs more money, and has more dire consequences on person’s lives than a misdemeanor case can. Also if we can get it down to a misdemeanor, in the charge bargaining portion, then that will leave some options open to you for taking the charge off of your record at a later date, if we can get you deferred probation, and that sort of thing.