|Lawyers.com > Discuss Your Legal Issue > Ask a Lawyer > Criminal Law > <P>What is a blind plea? Is it worth taking if I don't like what they offered me? Can the judge give me more time than they already offered and is he likely to do so?|
A "blind plea" is guilty plea without a binding sentence. The sentencing decision is left completely up to the judge. He or she can sentence you anywhere from the lowest possible sentence up to the maximum allowed by law for the crime to which you are pleading guilty.
There are many different kinds of plea bargains. For example, in the case of a binding plea offer, you plead guilty to an agreed charge and the prosecutor agrees to recommend a certain sentence. If the Judge decides at sentencing you should get more time than the agreement calls for, you can withdraw your plea and proceed to trial on the original charges.
Another type of plea bargain is one where you plead guilty and while the prosecutor agrees to recommend a certain sentence, such as probation, or a jail sentence not to exceed a certain amount, the ultimate decision is up to the judge and if he or she sentences you to more time, you are stuck with it.
In yet another kind of plea bargain the prosecutor may agree to a binding sentence of probation with the terms and conditions up to the judge. In many jurisdictions, county jail time can be imposed as a condition of probation.
The bottom line is that in any plea agreement without a binding recommendation from the prosecutor, that is, one that lets you withdraw your plea if the Judge wants to give you more time, you are taking a risk.
Plea bargains are not a matter of right. Your choice if the prosecutor won't offer you what you want is to persist in your plea of not guilty and take the case to trial where they have to prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt.
You should explore all the options with your attorney. He or she can best advise you as to your particular Judge's record on sentencing. Does he or she usually go along with the prosecutor's recommendations or impose a greater or lesser sentence? Does your particular Judge accept binding plea offers?: Can the prosecutor in your case be persuaded to offer a binding plea deal? How strong a case does the state have against you and what is your likely sentence if you go to trial and lose?
After consideration of your options, the final decision is up to you.
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