Why does the Prosecutor's Office plea bargain with criminals?

The prosecutor will only "plea bargain" if this results in a "bargain" for the victim and the citizens. For instance, the prosecutor may dismiss one criminal count if the defendant pleads guilty to another similar count. This may occur if the punishment will be the same whether the defendant pleads to one count or multiple counts. 

A plea bargain often means the victim will not need to testify. It also means a speedier disposition of the case. Generally, the prosecutor is reluctant to plea bargain cases which involve children, violence, and repeat offenders. The victim will always be consulted prior to a plea bargain. The sad reality is that many cases are forced to be plea bargained because there are insufficient judges, courtrooms, prosecutors, defense counsel and money to take thousands of criminal cases to trial annually. In 2004, over 1200 felony cases and over 3,000 misdemeanor cases were filed.

Contact the Prosecuting Attorney Office at 208-446-1800 with any further questions.

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1. When I report a crime to the police, will I be required to sign a criminal complaint?
2. Please describe what happens after a criminal complaint is filed?
3. Why does the Prosecutor's Office plea bargain with criminals?
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