There are many different steps and may include a plea bargain involved in court cases. They’re agreeing to pleading guilty to a crime when a defendant decides to accept a plea bargain. Whether the defendant has an existing criminal record and the severity of the crime are important factors to consider when you contemplate a plea bargain. Sentencing may result in various circumstances after a plea bargain is pursued. Ranging from the suspension of a drivers and/or professional license, court-ordered restitution, paying fines … and may require jail or prison. Time are a series of sanctions a defendant may face when pleading guilty.
What Does a Guilty Plea Mean?
When someone pleads guilty, the court system has various procedures that apply. A judge will closely examine the plea agreement to ensure that it satisfies the laws and applicable regulations after both the defendant and prosecutor may discuss a case-specific stipulated agreement with the judge. Given factors such as the impact of their actions on others, previous criminal activity, and whether the defendant is a threat to society are considered when the judge will determine whether the plea agreement is an acceptable form of punishment. If an agreement is not in accordance with the law and existing community standards is another aspect the judge decides on. When considering whether personal interactions with the defendant reflected reformed behavior, the judge may review a case and determine sentencing is too severe or not substantial enough as well.
Is a Plea Bargain the Same as a Defendant Pleading Guilty?
The defendant is advised of the correlating laws as there are disadvantages to pleading guilty after a judge approves a plea bargain. Eradicating the right to an appeal for example. Also, the decision to agree to a guilty verdict can impact their ability to remain in the United States if someone is a foreign national seeking American citizenship. When the judge speaks directly to the defendant to ensure that the defendant is aware of the implications resulting from a plea bargain occurs if a judge may engage in what is known as a colloquy. As their protector, a judge is called upon to serve as the defendant’s accuser yet simultaneously. While ensuring the defendant is not being coerced from an outside source or acting contrary to their best interest resulting from an issue such as mental illness or a lack of cognitive skills, the goal is to confirm competency of the defendant regarding pursing such a life-altering decision.
Advantages of Pleading Guilty
Reduced costs for legal representation and the likelihood of reduced sentencing in comparison to pursing a jury trial, among others are certain advantages of pleading guilty. While indicating they understand the charges against them and admit acceptance to the decimation of their rights resulting in correlating consequences, a defendant must admit their conduct is punishable by law, in federal courts. Though lawyers advise their clients and provide direction, defendants can expect to be questioned by a judge. In order to assist in deciding the conditions of sentencing for the defendant, a judge may speak with a crime victim, a probation officer, as well as hear arguments from the prosecutor and defendant’s lawyer.