How Most Criminal Cases are Resolved

How Most Criminal Cases are Resolved

A large number of criminal cases are resolved through the same programs. These can impact the rights and freedom of the defendant, so it is important to know the impact of each. Here are the ways a criminal case can be resolved:

Deferred Prosecution –

In this case, the defendant will not plead guilty but will agree to participate in a program of counseling or treatment instead of prosecution. After the program, the charges may be dismissed. However, if the defendant fails to complete the program, the prosecution may proceed.

Plea Agreement –

The defendant will plead guilty but may be granted leniency in sentencing After the settlement of an agreement, the presiding judge may approve or reject the agreement depending on their discretion. If both parties cannot reach an agreement, the case shall proceed to trial.

Statistics reveal that over 90% of criminal cases are resolved through a plea bargain or a plea deal. In such case, the prosecution and defense shall negotiate upon the resolution of the case, and a plea agreement is presented to the judge. Fresno law firms can help you negotiate with the prosecution for a lighter sentence.

Presenting the Plea Deal to the Judge

The judge will then study all the terms of the plea deal and evaluate the proposed plea bargain. Both parties must make all the conditions clear when presenting the plea. The judge will evaluate the propriety of the sentencing. In particular, if the punishment is made too light for the seriousness of the charges, the defendant’s prior criminal record, and character. If there is anything strange with the bargain, your Fresno attorney should inform the judge, along with the other party.

The Jurisdiction of the Judge on the Plea Deal

Once the prosecution and the defendant agree to the sentence, the judge will begin to consider the agreement. Take note that the judge needs to accept the entire agreement as well as the agreed-upon sentence. However, the judge may not be required to accept the sentencing recommendation. On another note, there are jurisdictions that call for an opportunity for the accused to withdraw the plea if the sentencing recommendation is denied by the judge.

Factors Judges Consider When Evaluating a Plea Deal

Public Interest

Underlying Factual Basis for the Case or the Plea

Interests of the Victim

Decisions Surround the Plea

Plea procedures vary from judge to judge. Still, judges need to decide whether or not to accept plea terms before the defendant enters the plea. Thus, before any treatment or program is entered into, the judge should agree with it fully. Judges may do the following regarding the plea:

Accept all the terms of the plea bargain

Accept certain terms of the agreement and reject the negotiated sentence

Reject the terms of the plea deal

Defer the decision while considering the presentence report

Suggest the defendant to plead without the negotiated agreement such as when the judge is ready to give a lighter sentence than the agreement.

If the Judge Accepts the Proposed Plea Deal

Once the judge accepts the no contest plea or the guilty plea, a conviction is made, and the judge cannot overturn the plea agreement after that. In case the parties agree upon certain conditions that the defendant should perform as part of the negotiated plea, the court will retain jurisdiction until all conditions are satisfied. Should the defendant fail to satisfy all of the conditions, the judge is allowed to reject the plea, and the case will have a new sentence.

If the Judge Refuses the Proposed Plea Bargain

The jurisdiction procedure will be followed. The judge is required to provide reasons for refusing the deal.

Consult a Fresno Attorney

A criminal defense lawyer can tell you whether or not a judge will be inclined to reject or accept your proposed plea bargain. Fresno law firms may also help you understand the plea deal procedure and explain to you what your options are. A reputable lawyer should be able to explain to you the customs and rules of the court where you will present the plea deal.

Plea Bargaining DUI Cases in California

Depending on certain factors like the strength of the evidence against you, DUI lawyers in Fresno may be able to help you reduce the criminal charge against you. This can be in the form of a sentence reduction (defendant pleads guilty to DUI and penalties are agreed upon) or a charge reduction (defendant pleads guilty to another charge with lighter penalties).

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