Discrete. Effective. Aggressive.
Trial Attorneys
Free Case Evaluation

What is an "Alford plea?"

It is not uncommon for Missouri prosecutors and defense attorneys to enter into plea negotiations before a criminal trial takes place. Making a plea deal can often save the state considerable time and resources that it would otherwise take to bring charges to trial, and also eliminates any sense of uncertainty about whether a jury would acquit the defendant altogether. For the defendant, a plea deal can lead to benefits such as avoiding the need to face more serious charges, and in some situations, such as "wet reckless" negotiated deals, the possibility of not having a DUI conviction appear on their records.

Plea negotiations take different forms, but most have the effect of agreeing to reduce charges in return for a guilty plea and a reduced sentence. One variation that is used on occasion in Missouri is known as an "Alford plea." This variant might be used when the prosecution has a strong enough case against the defendant that even the defense counsel thinks that the state has enough evidence to persuade a judge or jury that the defendant is guilty as charged, but the defendant does not formally plead guilty to the charge. 

An Alford plea may be attempted when reduced-charge plea negotiations are either not undertaken or prove unsuccessful. The objective of the defense is that by agreeing to effectively plead guilty without formally doing so, in exchange for avoiding the need for a trial the court will respond with a more lenient sentence. Note, though, that the court is not obligated to accept an Alford plea, and in Missouri many judges in fact do not do so.

Criminal defense is not always a matter of trial practice but also of negotiating. if you are charged with a crime, whether to enter into plea negotiations in general or to attempt an Alford plea in particular is a decision that you and your attorney must carefully consider given the nature of the charges and the relative strength of the prosecution's evidence against you versus any exculpatory evidence or arguments that you may have, among other considerations. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to help you through these calculations with the object of securing the best possible outcome -- acquittal, or otherwise -- for your individual situation.

 

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Real Results

Winning Cases They Say Can't Be Won

Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

Contact Travis Noble | Free Consultations

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Travis L. Noble, Jr.
Rated by Super Lawyers


loading ...

Past results afford no guarantee of future results and every case is different and must be judged on its own merits. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. This disclosure is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Missouri.

At Travis Noble, P.C. we value your feedback. Click here to write us a review:

Write Us a Review
TN - Travis Noble - Attorneys at Law

8000 Maryland Avenue, Suite 910
St. Louis, MO 63105
St. Louis Law Office Map

Free Consultations
Phone: 314-450-7849
Toll Free: 866-794-0947
Click Here to Pay Your Invoice
Credit Cards Accepted