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What should defendants know about federal plea deals?

Facing federal criminal charges can be a difficult experience. For many defendants, the thought of having to face a federal prosecutor in a trial is not exactly appealing. People who admit that they did the crimes they are accused of might choose to look into the possibility of a plea deal. This is a defense option that wouldn't require them to go against the prosecutor.

If you didn't commit the crime that led to the charges, you can't have a plea deal in federal court. There is a specific directive that forbids federal prosecutors from being able to accept an Alford plea, which is one in which the person doesn't admit that they are guilty of the charges.

Why would anyone consider a plea deal?

A plea deal is the chosen resolution method for a variety of reasons. One of the primary ones is that the defendant can know ahead of time what sentence the prosecution will recommend for the court. This might put their mind at ease since they can plan for what is going to happen.

Some decide that a plea deal is the best resolution method because they agree that the prosecutor has ample evidence that points to them. They might not want that coming out in open court, so they may decide that a plea is a better option.

The prosecuting attorney may choose to use a plea deal so they don't have to prepare the case for trial. This can help to open up the court docket so that it isn't as congested. This can also help other cases to move through the process faster in the California court system.

What are some points of bargaining?

In a plea deal, there are a few different considerations that can enter into the negotiations, such as the sentence that the person will face. It is also possible to negotiate the actual charge so you plead guilty to a lesser charge. You must remember that the court has to approve the plea deal, and there are sometimes instances in which the court might alter the sentence.

Plea deals can't be used to skirt around mandatory minimum sentences for specific charges, so remember this if you are pleading guilty to a specific charge. You should also remember that once you enter into a plea deal, you can't appeal the sentence or the conviction. You should review all options before deciding whether a plea deal is right for you.

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