What is a plea deal in North Louisiana?
In a plea deal, or plea bargain, the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a criminal charge in exchange for certain concessions from the prosecutor. For example, the prosecutor may seek a lesser sentence, reduce the seriousness of the charge, or withdraw some of the original charges.
By accepting a plea deal, your case won't go to trial. A plea deal is effectively a guilty plea and an acceptance of the allegations against you. Once a plea deal has been accepted and you enter a plea, the judge will then sentence you.
It's difficult to withdraw a plea once you have accepted a plea deal. But in some situations, you may be able to enter a conditional plea. This occurs when the judge rules against you in a pre-trial motion and you want to appeal this ruling, but do not want to go to a jury trial. If you succeed in your appeal against the interim ruling, you can then withdraw your plea.
Does a judge have to approve a plea agreement in North Louisiana?
Yes, a judge must approve a plea deal. Once you have reached an agreement with the prosecution, the judge hears the details of the deal. The judge will ask you to confirm you are entering the plea voluntarily.
The judge will also confirm you understand that your plea requires you to waive several constitutional rights including:
- The right against self-incrimination
- The right to a jury trial
- The right to confront witnesses
- The right to counsel (if you're unrepresented)
After hearing the details of the plea and asking you these questions, a judge may accept or reject the plea deal. When should you accept a North Louisiana plea deal?
You should only accept a plea deal after receiving professional legal advice.
Facing a criminal charge can be stressful. So, it can be tempting to accept the first plea deal the prosecution offers you to put an end to the matter. But plea deals are a negotiation process and, with the help of a skilled attorney, you may be able to reach an agreement that's more favorable to you.
Once a judge has accepted a plea deal, it's very difficult to withdraw your guilty plea. There are limited circumstances in which you can do so, such as where you were coerced into it or where you were unrepresented and did not fully understand the consequences of your plea.
How does an experienced criminal defense attorney help when considering a plea deal in Louisiana?
If you are considering a plea deal, you should seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney by contacting Lawrence Law Firm immediately. An attorney can explain the process and consequences of accepting a plea deal, including the impact on your constitutional rights.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can also negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf to help you secure the best outcome available in your case. They can assess the strength of the prosecution's case against you and highlight any weaknesses during the negotiation of a plea deal. Call us at 318.232.4000 contact us through our online submission form today to schedule a Free Consultation.
The blog published by Lawrence Law Firm is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing blog posts, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult their own legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.
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