On TV, perhaps. IRL however, plea bargains are quite common, greater than 90% according to this law professor ( link ). Moreover, both defending and prosecuting attys would rather plea bargain, as, once a case goes in front of a jury, it's anyone's guess (as is evidenced by the seeming slam dunk of the Casey Anthony & OJ Simpson trials). And finally, trials are not only more costly but time consuming, as well. So, if the defendant does choose trial by jury, the case can end up being tried years later. Generally, after the defendant waives their right to a speedy trial.