Plea Deals in Maryland Gun Cases
Whether you are guilty of a gun offense or not, you may be offered a plea deal. During a gun trial, there are a couple different kinds of plea deals in Maryland gun cases. A person can plead not guilty and anticipate that there would be a trial and the state would have to prove each and every element of the offenses. Another option for the person is to plead guilty to an offense. When a person pleads guilty they are admitting that they committed the crime. A third option is an Alford plea. This may seem like a lot of information but an attorney can help you make sense of it all. A skilled gun lawyer could help you determine whether a plea deal is right for you.
When discussing plea deals in Maryland gun cases, it is important to mention the Alfred plead. The Alfred plea references the Supreme Court case that allows for defendants to enter into a plea where they are not acknowledging their guilt but they do want to avoid a trial and they would like to receive the benefit of whatever the bargain is that has been negotiated between the defendant and the state. Sometimes Alford pleas are incredibly helpful and are exactly what individuals need. They want the benefit of a plea bargain, they are being offered a great plea bargain but they do not want to admit guilt. It is quite possible that the person did not do the crime with which they are charged but there is evidence to suggest that they did and the state recognizes that they do not have such a firm case, so they are willing to do an Alford plea.
For some judges, it will not matter if a person does an Alford plea or a guilty plea, the outcome is exactly the same. The person is still found guilty at the end and the judges do not make any distinction. So, in that scenario, the only real benefit is that the defendant is able to get through the plea without being put on the spot and being required to admit that they committed a crime. But some judges now acknowledge that the Alford plea may be because the person really did not do anything wrong and their sentences reflect that.
Considerations Before Pleading Guilty
Before entering a plea, an important thing to consider is the state’s recommendation. If a person is considering pleading guilty to a gun charge, is it because the state is making a very good offer? Sometimes prosecutors make really good offers because they acknowledge that there is a flaw somewhere in their case and they still want the conviction but are willing to bargain as far as what the sentence should be. The recommendation is absolutely something that should be discussed with the attorney when deciding whether or not to take a plea. It is important to know a person’s judge when deciding whether or not to take a plea. Often times, plea deals in Maryland gun cases can fall into one or two categories. One category is the binding plea.
Binding pleas mean that the state and the defense counsel are able to discuss on-record why the state is making such a recommendation and why everybody is willing to bind to a particular sentence. If a judge listens to everything and feels that they can agree to be bound to a particular sentence, then that is great. The benefit for the defendant is that they know exactly what they are going to get.
They are not running any risks of an unknown because the judge has agreed to bind himself or herself. It is important for the defendant to understand that the judge really has the final say and the judge does not have to follow anybody’s recommendations. So, the judge is free to do whatever they want to do in sentencing.That is why it is important for the attorney to know the judge and to have an understanding of how this judge typically handles things like that.
If it is a great plea offer and a great sentencing recommendation but the judge habitually ignores the recommendation and does something worse, well, the defendant should know that before they decide whether or not to do a plea in front of that judge. Something else that is important to think about before pleading guilty to a gun charge is knowing whether there is any mandatory minimum sentence that the defendant would be required to serve. Some charges in Maryland have a mandatory minimum penalty, and so the defendant should know that. If an individual wants to know more about plea deals in Maryland gun cases, they should work with an experienced drug lawyer that could help.