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South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney | Over 25 Years Experience

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South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney | Over 25 Years Experience

Call Today | Free Consultation

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When can the judge reject my plea bargain deal?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

If you are accused of a crime, it is likely you will be arraigned and formally charged. Depending on the nature of the offense you are accused of committing, a conviction may result in a fine, jail time or even a condemnation. As you can imagine, a criminal conviction can greatly impact your life. 

One of the options you have when facing a criminal charge is a plea bargain. Basically, this refers to an arrangement where the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for a lenient punishment. However, it is important to understand that a plea agreement does not hold until the judge accepts it. 

So can the judge reject a plea deal? Well, the simple answer to this question is yes. A judge can reject your plea deal under the following set of circumstances:

If the plea deal does not serve the best interest of justice

A judge can decline a plea deal if they believe it does not serve the best interest of the victim or justice. For instance, if the judge believes the original offense was so severe that the perpetrator should not receive a lesser sentence, then they may cite this as the reason for rejecting a plea deal. 

If you have a prior criminal record that aggravates the situation

While evaluating a potential plea deal, the judge will always take into account your past criminal history. If you have never been charged or convicted of a crime, it is likely the judge will approve your plea deal on grounds that you are generally a law-abiding citizen who can best repay their debt to society by serving a lesser sentence like community service or enrolling in a rehabilitation program. 

On the other hand, if you have a history of convictions, then the chances of the judge accepting your plea deal can be greatly diminished.

Being accused of a crime is a serious matter. Exploring your defense options during the trial can help you get the best possible outcome for your case. It can also help you make certain that any plea deal you accept is likely to be honored by the court.

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