What do you get in exchange for pleading guilty or "no contest"?
Defendants rarely plead guilty without first reaching agreement with the prosecution.
Can a judge refuse to accept a “no contest” or nolo contendere plea?
In many places, judges must consent to defendants entering no-contest (or nolo contendere) pleas.
Withdrawing a Guilty Plea
It’s not uncommon for those who’ve been accused of crime to plead guilty, only to later regret it. Whether it’s because of an unpredictably stiff sentence or “buyer’s remorse,” many defendants believe—rightly or wrongly—that they got a raw deal.
Ineffective Representation in Plea Bargains
Most criminal cases are resolved by a defendant pleading guilty; very few actually go to trial.
Pleading Guilty While Saying You're Innocent
A defendant who claims to be innocent but doesn’t think he will win at trial can take what has become known as an Alford plea, named after the Supreme Court’s decision in North Carolin
Believe it or not, the prosecution and defense occasionally agree (more or less) on the facts underlying criminal charges.
How Plea Bargains Get Made
In a typical plea bargain, the defense lawyer and prosecutor confer, and one or the other proposes a deal.
Why Judges and Prosecutors Engage in Plea Bargaining
For judges, the primary incentive to accept plea bargains is to move along their crowded calendars. Most judges simply don’t have time to try every case that comes through the door.
Pleading Guilty: What Happens in Court
Once the deal is worked out, the prosecution and defense will arrange a court hearing and inform the judge about the agreement.
How Judges Accept and Reject Plea Deals
The short answer is yes.