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What happens at a change of plea hearing?

Cleveland, OH |

I have decided to take a plea bargain by the prosecutor so I can finally end my DUI case. It has been going on for a year. He said I will get house arrest and 5 days in jail. Tomorrow I am suppose to have a change of plea hearing... will I also be sentenced that day as well? Can the judge ignore the deal the prosecutor gave me?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. When a judge accepts a change of plea based on your negotiations with the prosecutor, the court has the discretion to either sentence you as suggested by the prosecutor or fashion one of its own. The court may also set a different date to impose a sentence and may order a Pre-sentence Investigation (PSI) to be conducted by the
    probation department. After you plea guilty it is entirely in the hands of the judge. You really ought to have a lawyer to evaluate your case

    Good Luck

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  2. The procedure for a change of plea hearing is pretty standard. You are presumed innocent. When you change your plea you are admitting to the charge in your plea agreement. The judge will engage in a dialogue with you to make certain you are knowingly,intelligently and voluntarily entering your plea. Once the judge is sure you understand the court will accept your plea. Your attorney will no doubt explain this to you. Hope this is helpful. Good luck.


  3. First, the court is not bound by your agreement with the prosecutor. Second, it looks as if they prosecutor is estimating the punishment based on his experience with this court. Third, if it is your first offense you may be eligible for the driver intervention program that permits you to "serve" your jail time while at a hotel completing coursework on alcohol abuse and drinking and driving. I'd strongly consider discussing this with your attorney before accepting the "deal." As for whether the judge will sentence you, that is court by court and case by case specific. Usually the courts do not sentence on the same day so that they can do a pre-sentence investigation to ensure they've covered all of their bases. Again, discuss this with your lawyer.

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