Do Crown prosecutors "plea bargain?"

Alberta Justice policy requires that prosecutors should not reduce or withdraw charges solely to avoid a trial. However, there is a public interest in resolving matters without the expense of time and resources involved in a trial, and the sparing of inconvenience to victims and witnesses. For this reason, prosecutors are expected to discuss with defence counsel the possibility of guilty pleas to the original charge or to other charges.

The prosecutor must consider whether there is sufficient evidence to prove all of the charges and whether it is in the public interest to proceed with all of the charges. When there are several charges stemming from a single incident, it is often appropriate to withdraw surplus charges, so long as the sentencing judge will have a complete understanding of the wrongful conduct that could be proved.