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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Default Can Plea Deal Sentencing Be Reduced by Judge

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: New York

    When plea deal is accepted that says 2-5 years of imprisonment for felonies no higher than C, can the judge at sentencing bring the minimum down at his discretion? It is my understanding that a judge can bring down most charges that are felony C or below to probation in the extreme case. Is this true?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Re: Can Plea Deal Sentencing Be Reduced by Judge

    A judge can not accept the plea, and not sign off on it. I have heard of that happening but not a judge just reducing the plea because. In that case you would have to just plea to the mercy of the court. Then the judge will give what he/she wants.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Can Plea Deal Sentencing Be Reduced by Judge

    I don't think that a judge has inherent or statutory authority to reduce sentence from a plea deal unless misrepresentation or fraud is involved.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    638

    Default Re: Can Plea Deal Sentencing Be Reduced by Judge

    I think New York has some minimum sentencing laws for certain offenses, and for some repeat offenses. Don't quote me on that, LOL.

    If you're up against that, it would matter. We don't know what the offenses are, or if you have priors, so I can't look it up.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Can Plea Deal Sentencing Be Reduced by Judge

    @cmre3456, yes NY has minimum sentence of 1 year for felony C but none for lower felonies. But it also gives judge authority to substitute probation for certain felony offenses. What I wondered was if the judge can lower a sentence because he wanted to after hearing the defense and prosecutor's final statements.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can Plea Deal Sentencing Be Reduced by Judge

    A plea bargain is a contract between the prosecutor and defendant. If the parties want the court to agree to the deal as well, that needs to be worked out in advance.

    If the plea deal is contingent upon a particular range of sentence and, after initially approving the deal, the judge changes his mind at sentencing, the party negatively affected by the judge's change of position can withdraw the offer.

    If the deal only relates to the prosecutor's request or recommendation, but leaves it to the court to define the actual sentence, then the court can impose whatever sentence it feels is appropriate without any violation of the plea bargain.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    10

    Default Re: Can Plea Deal Sentencing Be Reduced by Judge

    I just wanted to update this thread with this: There was a case in MA where the judge reduced the plea sentence which prompted the prosecutor to withdraw the plea deal. The case went to the MA Supreme Court which ruled that the prosecutor can not withdraw the plea and that the judge can reduce the sentence if he feels justice was not done.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/mas...in_plea_deals/

    I don't know about NY.

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