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Plea Agreement Process

What is a Plea Agreement?

A Plea Agreement is used to help end a criminal case without having to result to a court trial. Plea Agreements end in a plea agreement between the prosecutor and the person charged of a crime. In the agreement, the person charged agrees to plead guilty to keep from going to a trial. After the defendant, agrees to plead guilty, the prosecutor decides to get rid of certain charges that were filed or make sentencing ideas that will benefit the defendant. A judge will have to finalize a plea agreement so the defendant knows that the person is letting go of rights to a trial. The judge has to make sure that the defendant understands the charges, knows what the person is being sentenced after receiving the guilty plea. Last, the person being charged has to make a confession of committing the crime; while in court.

Can prison statutes override a plea agreement made between the District Attorney and the defendant?

A prison system in many cases cannot issue sentencing guidelines or override a Plea Agreement. Jail sentencing and how long a person stays in jail is decided by a court judge. The District Attorney may have entered the plea into jail but it is still left up to the judge to sentence the individual. In order to confirm information; the proper officials can obtain the court minutes from when the sentencing had taken place. A person can obtain court minutes by going to the court where the sentencing hearing took place and ask the court clerk for a specific case’s files. Also the person can ask for a review of the minutes from the sentencing hearing.

Does a Plea Agreement has to cite the correct case to be legal? Can a person file a motion to dismiss judgment on a plea that has the wrong case number with no personal jurisdiction or no court authority?

If a Plea Agreement has the wrong case number, but has the right charges and the correct name of the person being charged, then court officials will consider this to be an error made by someone that is part of administration. The court looks at that as being a minor mistake and will correct the plea agreement. Personal jurisdiction is not a problem if the crime happened in that state/county; the court has a right and holds jurisdiction and authority to settle issues in a state/county. The person being charged has the right to have the plea agreement altered, which would be all the court would do when that person files to motion to dismiss the plea agreement.

If a person makes a plea agreement on a Class A felony charge; can that person appeal the plea agreement?

A person that is charged for a crime is allowed to file a motion to attempt to change the plea deal. When a person that commits a crime agrees with taking a plea; there is a process that the person must go through. The court system has to make sure that the defendant took the plea without being forced by a prosecutor or any other law enforcement officer. Second, the defendant must have gotten advisement from a lawyer to confirm that the plea with benefit the defendant. Third, the person will have to be completely sober when that person agrees to plea agreement. The person can’t be under alcoholic beverages or under the use of drugs. Last, the defendant has to understand that by accepting the plea agreement; that the person is agreeing to give up certain rights. The rights that are given up include the right to appeal and the right to a trial.

When doing the guideline computations after a plea agreement; can the counts that were dismissed be used in calculating the sentencing guideline?

In some cases, the counts can be used. The sentencing guidelines 1B1.3 (a) (2) states that “dropped charges will be counted for purposes of determining the sentence, subject to the statutory maximum for the offense or offenses of conviction.” So, in this case the individual can have the charge removed in a plea agreement under certain federal guidelines.

There are thousands of individuals each day entering the court room. These individual are searching for ways to obtain plea agreements from prosecutors to reduce sentencing on crimes that may or may not have been committed. What is a plea agreement? What is the plea agreement process? Experts are here to help understand the plea agreement process and to answer questions that may confuse people.
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