Plea agreements

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Lugar Law

Roanoke, VA

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Practice Areas: Workers Compensation

The plea bargaining and plea agreement

Negotiation of the charges governed by Rule 3A 8 Rules of the Supreme Court. For cases of serious crimes (felony) must be reduced to writing if resolved by a plea bargain, signed by the lawyer of the Commonwealth, the defense attorney and the accused. The agreement will be presented to a presiding judge. A judge does not need to accept the plea agreement.

There are different types of plea agreements, depending on the facts and circumstances.

1. Recommendations reason, the prosecutor provides a recommendation to the court. Moreover, the prosecutor may simply agree not to oppose a request by the defense motions. This type of plea occurs frequently in Federal court.

2. The arrangement of the plea: The plea would provide for an agreement to move for dismissal in the case of complaints or specific charges or agree to a specific penalty(s). The judge can accept or defer until a conviction is entered (after a pre-sentence report). If the judge accepts the plea stipulating the time, the accused will know what sentence will face.

If the judge rejects the plea agreement, the defendant may withdraw the guilty plea, as it comes in the form of a statement of "guilty" or "no contest / Nolo contendere."

A plea agreement offered  but then withdrawn even with a declaration guilt or has any claim raised in discussions about the reasons for pleading guilty are not admissible in the case in chief in civil or criminal matters. The exception to this rule is the charge of perjury or false testimony.

A plea agreement can be withdrawn by the prosecutor before the guilty plea entered. If the offer by the prosecutor is rejected by the defendants, there is no requirement that a new plea agreement should take place, or that the original offer still remains open for acceptance.

The plea agreement should be found voluntarily entered and intelligently. Therefore, any ambiguity in the agreement  will / should be interpreted with the principles of the defendant voluntarily and intelligently entering into a contract.

Threats by the plaintiff to be more severe in the prosecution of the accused to accept a plea deal offered is totally acceptable because the prosecutor is bound only by legal restrictions apply sanctions to the charges.

Virginia Code § §19.2-303 gives judicial discretion to vary felony sentences after conviction, also penalties under the plea agreement, if the defendant is still in a local jail and was not delivered to the department of corrections.

Presentence reports can still be ordered by the trial court, but the defendant loses the right to request pre-sentence when accepting a plea agreement report.

 

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