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  1. #1
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    Aug 2019
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    Default Judges Sentencing

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: NJ...A plea deal was excepted in a first time (person had not criminal offenses in his past) criminal case. The plea deal is 5 years with a 25 month stipulation. A guilty plea was excepted by the court and judge. Can a judge reduce, minimize or change the plea deal to the better of the criminal at the sentencing time.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Judges Sentencing

    Quote Quoting JHarrin458
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    My question involves criminal law for the state of: NJ...A plea deal was excepted in a first time (person had not criminal offenses in his past) criminal case. The plea deal is 5 years with a 25 month stipulation. A guilty plea was excepted by the court and judge. Can a judge reduce, minimize or change the plea deal to the better of the criminal at the sentencing time.
    The judge has the right to reject the plea if the judge feels like the sentence inappropriate. However, its rare for a judge to reject a plea and issue a lesser sentence instead. In the rare case that the judge rejects the plea, its usually in exchange for a higher sentence or a proceed to trial.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Judges Sentencing

    The word you were looking for with regard to the plea is "accepted." "Excepted" would have a completely different meaning.

    Except in cases where plea deals are outright restricted by statute (in NJ that's pretty much limited to DUI-related charges and simple marijuana/hash possession, and even then it's got holes in it), the judge is free to do so. You're also confusing or redundant. The judge IS the court in this situation. The plea bargain is a recommendation to the judge, who is free to accept it or not. Typically, the "guitly plea" is conditional on the bargain however. But even when it is, nothing prevents the judge from altering it. If it was adverse of the defendant, the defense is certainly able to protest that.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Judges Sentencing

    The plea deal is what it is. If the court didn't agree with it then it would have accepted it in the first place.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Judges Sentencing

    Quote Quoting LegalWriter
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    If the court didn't agree with it then it would have accepted it in the first place.
    I think you mean that "If the court didn't agree with it then it would NOT have accepted it in the first place." And I'll add that once the judge accepted the plea deal and entered the judgment, the judge cannot simply change it later either better or worse for the defendant without cause.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Judges Sentencing

    Often, the sentencing is contingent on a pre-sentence investigation that occurs between when the plea is made in court and when the sentence is actually issued. The defendant has recourse if they chose to rescind the proposed sentencing (typically retracting the guilty plea). The prosecution, not so much. I can't say I've ever seen the sentence reduced in this fashion though.

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