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Plea deal leads to more lenient sentence for New Jersey mom

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.

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