A plea is an agreement that the prosecutor proposes to an accused in the context of a criminal proceeding. As a general rule, this agreement will exchange reduced sentences or lesser charges for an accused who pleads guilty or is not entitled to a challenge and waives his right to a trial. A plea may be accepted as long as the prosecutor is prepared to make the offer. If the Crown is still prepared to accept the plea, it may be accepted after its initial abstinence. The Crown and the defence in a criminal case are likely to enter a plea in which the accused pleads guilty or not in exchange for a reduction in the charge or sentence or other benefit. Once the two parties have agreed, they will go to a hearing where they will submit the proposed plea agreement to the judge. The judge will decide whether the agreement is accepted, amended or refused. (Learn more about the judge`s decision-making process.) John H. Langbein argues that the modern American advocacy system is comparable to the medieval European torture system: you have been arrested and are in the process of starting the trial. Your lawyer raises the possibility of a plea or argument. What exactly is it? What happens if you make a plea? In the event that some form of agreement is accepted, the judge will hear the plea in an open court and try the accused.
This can be done at a special hearing when the accused is in custody, but for the rest, the plea will likely be recorded in the minutes at the next scheduled hearing. The conviction may be handed down at the same hearing or may take place later for some of the accused charged with serious crimes. When a plea is tried and accepted, the case is generally final and cannot be challenged. However, a defendant may withdraw his plea for certain legal reasons and a defendant may accept a “conditional” plea by pleading guilty and accepting a sentence, while reserving the right to appeal a particular case (for example. B, violation of a constitutional right). If the defendant does not win in the appeal proceedings, the agreement is executed; If the defendant succeeds on appeal, the good deal will be terminated. The accused in Doggett, United States, entered into such an agreement and reserved the right to appeal simply because he did not receive a speedy trial in accordance with the United States Constitution; Doggett`s assertion was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and he was released. While in most cases judges are confident that the prosecutor and the accused are proposing reasonable conditions, the judge has the final say on the plea agreement.
The judge will decide whether the agreement is sufficient or whether it needs to be amended. If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced lawyer immediately. Lawyers who regularly work with the prosecutor`s office can advise you if you have to agree to a pleading agreement. While in some cases, a plea agreement may be the best way to avoid harsher sentences, sometimes fighting charges and in court may be the only way to leave the criminal proceedings as a free man. The main argument is that it must be based on the defendant`s free will, on equality between the parties and on the extension of the protection of the defendants` rights: although this may seem identical, a trial on the merits and a plea are not exactly the same, although a plea may take place in a dispute on the merits.