Since the County Court Division prosecutes thousands of cases every year, the majority of cases are resolved without a trial. Therefore, plea negotiations often occur between the defendant and the Deputy District Attorney to see if a plea agreement can be reached to resolve the case.
Many individuals choose to resolve their cases in this manner because they believe that they will be found guilty at trial or because they find the agreement to be a convenient way to conclude their case. However, if a Defendant desires to challenge the charges they have the right to a trial. If a defendant is convicted at trial, the Court has all sentencing options available based on the convicted charges.
Generally, plea agreements involve a guilty plea to a reduced charge or a guilty plea to an original charge with a stipulation regarding what sentence will be imposed.
To best ensure that appropriate plea agreements occur, the District Attorney’s Office evaluates each case based on many factors including, but not limited to, the seriousness of the offense, any input from the victim that has been received, community safety, and an analysis of any prior history each offender may have.
Plea agreements can occur at any stage of a case and are subject to a review by the Court and a decision to accept or reject the agreement.