Many times the parties will reach a resolution in the case prior to trial; this is called a plea bargain. A plea bargain may involve an agreement to a particular sentence, a reduction in the number of charges or a change in the actual charge. Every effort will be made to inform the victim about the plea negotiation and get input from them.
If a defendant accepts a plea bargain, it means that there will not be a trial, victims and witnesses will not need to testify, the State will not need to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt, and there will not be an appeal. Instead, the defendant will plead guilty under the terms of the bargain and the case will proceed to sentencing.
Sentencing is generally held immediately following a change of plea, however, it can be delayed and held at a later time.