When you are charged with a crime, and you know the evidence against you is overwhelming, one of the options you can consider is a plea bargain. A plea bargain offers a variety of benefits such are removing the uncertainty that the trial might bring.
However, a plea bargain is never cast in stone. The judge can accept or reject it. If you are in the process of working out a plea bargain, it helps to understand some of the reasons why it might be rejected.
How the court reviews a plea bargain
Once the prosecution and the defense reach a plea deal, it has to be presented to the judge for review. However, the judge can decide to reject the finalized plea deal based on a number of circumstances.
Here are two reasons why the court may reject a plea deal.
When the deal is against the interest of justice
When a crime is committed, the perpetrator should be held accountable. A plea bargain that appears to mock the essence of justice might be denied. For instance, if the prosecution offers community service for an offense as egregious as sexual assault, then the judge may reject such a deal on grounds that it does not serve the best interest of justice and the community.
When the defendant has a criminal record
While reviewing a plea bargain, the court will look at any prior criminal record you might have. If you have a clean criminal record, it is likely the judge will accept the plea deal. The judge will note that you are basically a law-abiding citizen who deserves another chance. For instance, if you are facing a DUI charge for the first time, the judge might accept a plea deal that recommends signing up for drug treatment or an educational program. However, if you are a repeat offender, then the judge might decline the plea deal.
A criminal conviction is bound to impact pretty much every aspect of your life. Knowing your rights and responsibilities while facing a criminal charge can help you defend yourself and ensure a favorable outcome for your case.