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Guilty Plea: Accepting the Plea

The Nature Of Guilty Pleas, The Plea Process, The Elements Of Guilty Pleas, Statutory And Procedural Requirements

A guilty plea consists of a defendant admitting having committed one or more of the crimes charged and a court agreeing to accept that admission and to sentence the defendant. Ordinarily, a guilty plea occurs after defense counsel has bargained with the prosecution and obtained some concession—for example, a reduction of the charges, an agreement not to file other charges, or a stipulation with respect to the position the prosecution will take at sentencing. Nevertheless, defendants have a right to plead guilty without a prosecutor's agreement, provided that they plead to all the crimes charged. Defendants sometimes pursue this course in unwinnable or minor cases an which they believe a plea will encourage the presiding judge to impose a lenient sentence.

FRED C. ZACHARIAS

STATUTES

Fed. R. Crim. P. 11.

Fed. R. Crim. P. 32(e).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal Law