Can a prosecutor renege on an agreed to deal?

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Can a prosecutor renege on an agreed to deal?

My brother was charged with capital murder for 3 deaths in 1998; first trial mistrial; second he was convicted. We appealed. It came through, so then he was charged with murder. He accepted a plea bargain for 15 years with condition that he testify against the other suspect in the same crime if ever caught. Well now the other suspect was caught (2 years ago) and my brother was brought in under a bench warrant a year ago. He was a little hesitant to testify when DA came to visit him at beginning of year. He never said no nor did he ever sign anything saying he would not testify; there has not even been a court date set for other suspect. Now we hear my brother is being indicted and is having trial for capital murder. No answer from previous lawyer and I feel that he accepted and served 12 years for nothing. What, if anything, can be done? Should we speak with another criminal defense attorney? In San Antonio, TX.

Asked on September 8, 2010 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, and speak with a really good one at that.  Was the plea bargain accepted on the record and was there an allocution (where your brother admitted to the crimes)  by your brother at sentencing?  You will need to get a copy of all of that for the new attorney.  From the way you have phrased the question here it appears that he already served his time for the murders.  What murder is he being indicted for? He must, though, satisfy the terms of the bargain and testify in the other trial.  That will be an issue to discuss with the new attorney as well.   Take a deep breath and be calm.  A good attorney will help you straighten this all out.  Good luck.


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