Can A Judge Reject A Plea Deal?

Can A Judge Reject A Plea Deal?

Plea deals are agreements made between a defendant and prosecutor that often involve a defendant pleading guilty in exchange for reduced charges or a lighter sentence. Even if the defendant accepts the plea deal, it can still fall through if the judge rejects it. Why would a judge reject a plea deal? Here are some of the reasons:

The Victim or Victim’s Family

Judges do not have to take the victim’s best interests into consideration when evaluating a plea deal, but many of them do. If the victim or the victim’s family has made it clear they are not happy with the terms of the plea deal, this may be enough to convince the judge to reject it.

Prior Criminal Record

The judge will also look at the defendant’s prior criminal record when deciding whether to reject or accept the plea deal. If the defendant has never been charged or convicted of a crime before, the judge is more likely to accept the deal. However, defendants that have a history of breaking the law will be treated differently. The judge may think that these defendants do not deserve a lighter sentence since they have repeatedly demonstrated that they are not law-abiding citizens.

The Community

Is it in the best interests of the community to give the defendant a lighter sentence or allow him to face reduced charges? Most judges will ask themselves this question when reviewing the details of a plea deal. For example, a judge may not think it is good idea to release a defendant with a violent history back into the community. If the plea deal allows the defendant to go on probation instead of spending time behind bars, the judge may reject it to protect the general population.

Punishment Doesn’t Fit the Crime

After reviewing the plea deal, the judge may come to the conclusion that the prosecutor compromised too much when making the deal. For instance, the judge may think that the prosecutor is offering a sentence that is far too light given the nature of the crime that was committed. When this happens, the judge can reject the current deal.

Have you been charged with a crime? The criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will review the details of your case and help you understand your legal options. We will be with you every step of the way to ensure that your rights are protected beginning the moment that you are arrested. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

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