Can a plea bargain be taken off the table when you go to an evidentary hearing?

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Can a plea bargain be taken off the table when you go to an evidentary hearing?

Asked on January 27, 2013 under Criminal Law, Alaska

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Plea bargaining is a feature of the criminal justice system designed to speed up the process-- however, it is not a guaranteed right.  This means that a prosecutor can withdraw a plea any time before it is formally accepted by the court.  This would include taking the plea bargain off the table when you go to an evidentiary hearing.  This is not an uncommon practice.  Some prosecutors will pull offers when defendants insist on evidentiary hearings, because the purpose of the plea bargain process (to speed things up) is not having the desired effect.  Essentially their argument is if they have to get ready for pre-trial, then they are practically ready for a trial which could result in a larger or enhanced sentence.


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