Judicial provisions in all jurisdictions in the United States encourage negotiations, but prosecutors are not required to negotiate. For example, when you are facing murder Fees in New Jerseythe prosecutor does not have to offer you a plea. If a prosecutor has a slam dunk case against you, you don't have to object. The prosecutor may have a video of you in which you committed the murder, and literally a court sentence is guaranteed. Once a jury sees the video, they have no choice but to judge.
Now let's put this example aside and discuss how downgrading criminal charges is a form of negotiation. As a criminal defense lawyersWhen we work with prosecutors, we discuss ways to resolve the case before us. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the state's case, our client's criminal history (or lack thereof), our client's probation options, possible punishment options (sentencing), dismissing some charges, confessing to other charges, and finally downgrading criminal charges.
The downgrading of criminal charges is at the heart of all negotiations. The police often overwhelm a defendant. Overload means that you have been accused of doing something far worse than what you actually did.
Suppose you were assigned the 2nd degree severe attack. You are accused of breaking someone's jaw (causing serious bodily harm). After investigating, we learn that the victim's jaw was broken before you hit him. We can't deny that you hit the victim, but you didn't cause his broken jaw. In this situation, you have committed a serious attack (slapping someone in the face), but at most you would be guilty of one 4th degree crime.
In this scenario, we would develop a plea that reflects the downgrading of the criminal charges.