DearCustomer- An Alford Plea is named for a Supreme Court case where the appellant was named Alford. It is a bit complicated but essentially it is used in a situation where a person makes a plea bargain that is a good deal and he or she wants to take the deal and plead guilty but not actually admit guilt. Many courts require that a person pleading guilty must admit their guilt.
If a person wants to enter an Alford plea they are permitted to plead guilty and not actually admit to the crime. What happened originally was that Alford would not admit guilt. He was offered a reduced sentence rather than a very severe one if found guilty at trial. He wanted to take the deal and plead guilty but not admit to the crime.
The court refused to accept his plea bargain and he went to trial where he was convicted and sentenced to a harsh prison term. He appealed based on the fact that if he had been permitted to plead guilty to the plea bargain he would have had a far lighter sentence.
The Supreme Court Agreed and reversed the sentence and allowed him to plead guilty without having to admit his guilt. Thus we have the "Alford Plea".
David Kennett - JD - Attorney at Law
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