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Can a plea bargain happen after a conviction?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

There is no shortage of criminal convictions in the state of Colorado. Some of these are for minor offenses, and others are quite serious. Whatever the case, the penalties given can be quite severe. However, what if a person could obtain a plea agreement even after a conviction? Such a thing may be possible under the right circumstances.

Traditional plea bargains

Before understanding how a plea bargain can occur after a conviction, it’s good to know how traditional plea bargains operate. Usually, a plea bargain is hashed out between the district attorney and a criminal defense lawyer. The goal is to get the criminal to truthfully admit to a crime in exchange for not having a trial and receiving reduced penalties. Usually, plea bargains result in reduced sentences for the accused, and both sides benefit from avoiding an expensive, time-consuming trial.

Plea bargains after conviction

While it may seem illogical, there are certain circumstances in which a plea bargain or something very similar to a plea bargain can happen after a conviction. This includes when:

  • the decision is appealed
  • the sentence is reduced
  • cooperation in another criminal matter is needed
  • mercy due to age or illness is given

While the decision of a judge and jury is typically final, it isn’t always in reality. In certain cases, an appeal may be pending based on what the state finds credible issues with the previous trial and investigation. If that is the case, the prosecutor may wish to find a compromise to lower the possible penalties instead of a re-trial. In other cases, the defendant may have information about another more serious crime where a reduced sentence can be offered in exchange for cooperation. In other cases, a deal may simply be struck because the defendant is now elderly or has a terminal illness.

Overall, even after conviction, a defendant should not give up hope. There may still be strategies to obtain a modified sentence. In certain cases, getting out of jail entirely may be possible.

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