Agreeing to a Plea Bargain Isn’t the End of the Road: Learn About the Role Judges Play
A plea bargain, otherwise known as a plea deal, occurs when both sides of a case (the prosecution and the defense) agree on the right way to resolve a criminal case. While many people assume that this is the end of the criminal defense process, that is not the case. Keep reading to find out how and why a judge must agree to the plea bargain. If you are facing criminal charges, contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 for a free legal consultation with a criminal defense attorney.
The Judge Will Consider the Deal
Once the defense and the accused agree on a plea bargain, the judge will evaluate it. They will need to know the terms of the deal, which will include both future conditions that will be imposed and any unusual aspects. One example is a defendant who, in exchange for ap lea bargain, has agreed to testify against someone. That condition must be part of the plea.
Another example would be if the accused party has agreed to certain conditions but has unusual needs. This might be a person who has agreed to perform 500 hours of community service but can only agree to complete said hours on the weekend.
The judge can then decide if they want to accept or rejected the deal. They will decide this based on whether or not they think the punishment is appropriate, the prior criminal record of the defendant, and other facts including what they believe will be in the best interest of the general public.
The Judge Has Several Ways They Can Proceed
The procedure will vary based on the jurisdiction, but it is always true that he judge must accept the terms of the plea agreement before the defendant enters said plea. The judge can decide to accept it or reject it outright, or they can accept it on certain terms but reject the sentence.
They can defer the decision until they get the presentence report, or they can suggest to the defendant that they plead guilty without the agreement. This may be done if the judge believes that the sentence is too harsh and is likely to give a lighter sentence than what the defendant has accepted.
It is Always Essential to Have an Attorney on Your Side
No matter what criminal charges you are facing, you should never accept a plea bargain without first talking to a criminal defense attorney. The police and prosecution do not have the same goals as you do and you cannot trust everything they say. Even if they tell you that you are getting a standard deal, or the best possible deal, it is worth it to talk to an attorney about your options.
It is easy to do so: Contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 now for your free legal consultation.