Criminal defense attorneys often engage in plea negotiations with prosecutors.
By doing so, they can usually minimize the long-term consequences for
serious crimes. A prosecutor may agree to a more lenient prison sentence
if the defendant agrees to cooperate on another case. Or, a prosecutor
may drop charges forfelonies if the defendant agrees to plead guilty on misdemeanor charges. Regardless
of the reason for the plea deal, it can be beneficial for everyone involved.
A New Jersey woman recently received a seven year sentence for conspiring
with her daughter to kill her daughter’s ex-mother-in-law. The daughter
was in prison at the time for the murder of her ex-husband.
The woman agreed to a plea deal because she feared that the woman she plotted
to kill would ask for a more severe sentence. The plea deal asked for
an eight year sentence, but the judge shortened the sentence slightly
taking the woman’s health and age into consideration; she is 68
years old. The woman will not be eligible for parole until she serves
at least 85 percent of the seven year sentence, which equates to just
under six years. Prior to her sentencing, she apologized to the intended
victim for the death of her son.
Those who are charged with violent crimes may be able to reduce their sentence
by entering a plea deal with the court. Showing remorse for your actions
can also be a persuasive tool during plea negotiations and sentencing.
Before doing either, however, it is typically a good idea to speak with
a defense attorney. There may be other available options that would be
more beneficial to you.
Source: Asbury Park Press, “Kathleen Dorsett sentenced to 58 years; father gets 45 years, mom sentenced
to 7 years,” Ken Serrano, August 8, 2013.