Part of a rigorous criminal defense involves informing a person of his or her options with Minnesota’s legal system. This can involve the strategy of making a plea deal when charged with a crime.
Knowing the facts about striking a plea deal could have significant impacts upon sentencing.
The possibility of withdrawing a plea
According to the Minnesota government website on court rules, a defendant, under certain circumstances, can withdraw a plea. Even after sentencing, the courts must allow a plea withdrawal if it addresses a manifest injustice. Once the court allows this procedure, the judgment and the plea no longer apply to the case.
Before sentencing, the courts will consider a plea withdrawal if it advances the fairness of the case for both the defense and the prosecution. The courts must consider the reasoning behind the plea withdrawal and must also determine if this action unfairly harms the prosecution’s case.
When a defendant withdraws a guilty plea, neither party can use this evidence to support its case. This holds for criminal, civil or administrative proceedings.
The action of taking a plea for lesser offenses
In certain cases, a defendant might decide to plead guilty to a lesser offense. After hearing the plea. the court does not need the consent of the prosecution to accept the plea. The judge does have an obligation to consider the strength of the case and not accept a lesser plea if the prosecution has enough evidence to convince a jury of the more serious charge.
A person charged with a criminal offense in Minnesota should consider all of his or her options. A plea deal could have benefits in certain cases.