Photo of Exterior of the Office Building of T. Michael Reed, P.A

We Are Here To Protect
Your Future

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Criminal Defense
  4.  » The role of judges in Mississippi plea bargains

The role of judges in Mississippi plea bargains

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2023 | Criminal Defense

When you’re arrested for a crime in Mississippi, you can face misdemeanor or felony charges. And if your case goes to a jury trial, there’s a chance you might face a conviction and harsh sentencing. However, if you’re dealing with a plea bargain, the judge will play an important role.

The plea bargain

A defendant’s criminal defense team might consider the pros and cons of a plea bargain. A plea bargain is a deal between the defendant and the prosecutor. The defendant agrees to enter a guilty plea in exchange for some benefit. For example, a benefit could include a lighter sentence or fewer charges.

The role of the judge

When both sides are working to reach an agreement, the judge oversees the proceedings to ensure the plea bargain is legal and ethical. Also, the judge ensures that the defendant is treated fairly, not forced into accepting a deal, and doesn’t have their rights violated. The judge confirms that the defendant willingly enters the plea and understands their actions.

The defense and the prosecution negotiate the plea bargain. The judge has nothing to do with the negotiation process. However, the judge can step in and disallow a plea bargain. For example, if the judge feels the evidence against the defendant is weak, the judge can object to the plea bargain.

When you’re offered a plea bargain, the judge reviews the evidence and other specifics of the case and decides if the plea bargain is fair and legal. The judge has to consider everyone’s interests, but at the same time, make sure the legal system does its job.