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Federal court has stricter rules on plea bargains

If you are facing criminal charges, you may be very worried about the future. Conviction can have severe implications for your personal and professional life, as well as your prospects. This is particularly the case if you are sentenced to time in jail, as you will effectively be removed from society and the life you know for the duration of your sentence.

With this in mind, it is little wonder that many individuals who face charges in California decide to agree to a plea bargain. As we have discussed in a previous article, these agreements enable you to admit to certain charges in exchange for the dismissal of other charges or a reduction in your sentence. However, while this is still possible in federal court, the rules are somewhat stricter.

According to this article on federal plea bargaining, there are some federal offenses for which the practice is forbidden. In some cases this is because the charge in question has a mandatory sentence attached to it. In other cases, plea agreements are made more complicated to obtain by requiring approval from multiple parties.

Similarly, there are rules to protect those who might consider a plea bargain. For example, attorneys are not permitted to use the threat of the death penalty to attempt to influence the defendant to agree to a plea deal.

Of course, it is very important to know exactly what your rights and options are if you are going to trial. An attorney may be able to help you with this and support you as you work to clear your name and protect your reputation.

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