In what ways may a defendant negotiate a plea deal?

When a Kentucky resident is accused of committing a crime, they are asked to enter a plea to the charges that have been alleged. Generally, the person may admit guilt through a guilty plea, deny guilt through a not guilty plea, or offer an alternative plea that stands somewhere in between guilty and not guilty. If a person pleads guilty, their matter may move straight to sentencing but, if they plead not guilty, their matter may go to trial. If it is in the interest of the defendant and the prosecutor to resolve the matter before or during a trial, they may work out a plea deal.

A plea deal involves the defendant admitting guilt to some or all of the charges brought against them in exchange for a reduction in some form of their punishment. There are a number of ways that plea deals may be negotiated and this post will address just a few of those. Readers are reminded, though, that the contents of this blog are not to be read as legal advice and that they may wish to speak with criminal defense attorneys about their legal situations.

A plea deal may be negotiated on the facts of the case. In this form of negotiation, a defendant may admit some facts so that a prosecutor does not have to prove them at trial, but, in exchange for admitting those facts, the prosecutor may agree to leave other facts out of evidence for the benefit of the defendant.

Also, a plea deal may be negotiated based on charges. In exchange for pleading guilty to a lesser charge, a defendant may have their more serious charges dropped to avoid more dire legal consequences.

Finally, a plea deal may be negotiated based on sentencing. It is possible for a person to receive a lighter sentence if they plead guilty to the charges brought by prosecutors. Different crimes have a range of possible sentences and, within a charge, a person can receive a varying degree of punishment.

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Sheehan, Barnett, Dean, Pennington, Little & Dexter, P.S.C.
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