View Full Version : Can a prosectutor withdraw plea agreement after he offered it to defendant?


rjdoss
12-14-2009, 10:46 AM
I have a question regarding plea agreements. The prosecuting attorney offered a plea agreement for 1-10 years... we didn't want to take it but the defense attorney said we "had to" because they (prosectution) could "take the plea off the table" at any time. Is this true?
Also, when he signed the plea for the 1-10 years the prosection put an agreement of 1-3 in front of him- which he signed and everything. Then the prosecutor took and back and gave him a new one for the 1-10. Can they do that?

Paralegal USA
12-14-2009, 10:58 AM
I have a question regarding plea agreements. The prosecuting attorney offered a plea agreement for 1-10 years... we didn't want to take it but the defense attorney said we "had to" because they (prosectution) could "take the plea off the table" at any time. Is this true?

Yes, until such time as the agreement is accepted by the court.

Also, when he signed the plea for the 1-10 years the prosection put an agreement of 1-3 in front of him- which he signed and everything. Then the prosecutor took and back and gave him a new one for the 1-10. Can they do that?

Yes, again until such time as the agreement is accepted by the court.

YourFriendlyDA
12-17-2009, 10:13 PM
Generally an offer expires at the close of business (or another time set forth by the parties) or when one party refuses it. Once the DA makes an offer and it is accepted by the defendant the state cannot back out of it. Only the judge can modify at that point. If you have signed documents accepting the deal then your attorney can file a "motion to enforce the agreement" and bind the state to their offer. That being said, nothing binds the judge... but atleast you would have what the DA offered.

Wooly Rhino
12-20-2009, 07:05 PM
There was a case in Federal law involving a big time Drug Dealer. The court held on appeal that a plea bargin is a legal contract. So if the deal was offered and signed only the judge can modify it. Once the Judge modifies it and it is excepted by the defendant then it cannot be changed without the defendants agreement. The advice you are getting is correct. If it is only a typo then do not expect an errror in your favor card to pop up. The Judge is there to protect both sides.

Now as to your lawyer telling you, you had to. STUPID. Everyone in the legal system works for you. Never take a plea deal that you dont want. The Judge doesnt want to force you into anything. The DA doesnt want to send anyone to prison that didnt do anything wrong. Your lawyer works for you. Make him earn his money. Make all of them earn their money. If everyone demanded trials how long do you think the system would last. Plea deals make the system go round. 1-10 what kind of range is that? Get a deal that says 1 year 3 months 3 days and 12 minutes.

Remember this, I am not a lawyer, so this is not legal advice. Prayer helps.

skyman
12-23-2009, 07:30 PM
The DA may also retract an offer if they believe circumstances have changes, as if they have found new information or new aggravating factors.

YourFriendlyDA
12-23-2009, 11:38 PM
I guess there's also an argument to be made that there was no "meeting of the minds" which is essential in contract law. If the DA wants to say that they gave him the wrong paper and did not INTEND to give him the 1-3 and the defense attorney says that there was no discussion of 1-3 that may be where the issue sits. Neither the DA or the defense attorney will burn their reputation before the judge by lying about what was discussed... so its possible that there was a conversation in chambers that sorted that out. Either way, get a full run down from the defense attorney and if there was no error fight to keep the original deal.

skyman
12-24-2009, 10:18 AM
I guess there's also an argument to be made that there was no "meeting of the minds" which is essential in contract law. If the DA wants to say that they gave him the wrong paper and did not INTEND to give him the 1-3 and the defense attorney says that there was no discussion of 1-3 that may be where the issue sits. Neither the DA or the defense attorney will burn their reputation before the judge by lying about what was discussed... so its possible that there was a conversation in chambers that sorted that out. Either way, get a full run down from the defense attorney and if there was no error fight to keep the original deal.

Are you saying D.A.s dont lie?? ?? You should have some experience from sitting behind the defendants table . . . . . . I can surely attest to DAs and Crown attourneys lying when they deem it necessary to save face.

rjdoss
12-24-2009, 10:48 AM
Thank for everyones help with this! I'm not sure if they all spoke about the 1-3 years... it was just interesting after he decided to take the 1-10 plea that the prosecutor set down a 1-3 in from of him to sign. Which just goes to show that they were willing to offer something better if his attorney would have kept going.
As for the sentencing range... He was sentenced from 1979 law- which was when the crime occured. They didn't have "definate" sentencing then. That didn't start until 1996. So he gets to sit and wait until the Ohio PArole board decides to let him out...or he maxes out.