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Can someone get the option to less years sentenced if they agree to plead guilty of a crime?

Newnan, GA |

My uncle molested my sister when she was 7. She told the school principal, DFCS got involved they removed us from our home, and placed us in foster care. They took my sister to Scottish Rite in Atlanta did a exam and they said it did show she had been messed with. When we went to court my uncle was sentenced to 6 years. Seven years later I am 20 and I am still not convinced he did his time. My grandmother told me the judge told him if he pleaded guilty he would get 6 years if not it was up to the court. I feel like my sister has not got her justice. Was this right of the court?

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Attorney answers 5


Plea bargaining happens every day in every criminal court.

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Yes, this is what plea bargaining is all about. Defendants are given incentives to plead guilty and relieve the State of their burden of proof.


Your uncle entered into a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney that resulted in him getting sent to prison for 6 years and in preventing your sister from having to go through the difficult task of testifying before a group of strangers about what he did to her. The criminal process is not perfect by any means, but prosecutors often do their best to protect society's most vulnerable citizens (children, elderly, etc) from having to go through the process of trial while simultaneously working to put guilty defendants behind bars to prevent them from harming more innocents. I understand your frustration with what must seem to you to be a light sentence but unfortunately there is nothing that can be done at this time.

Lee William Fitzpatrick

Lee William Fitzpatrick


In addition, if he plead to an offense like child molestation, he will have to register as a sex offender. You can check the local sex offender registry to see if he is on it. Also, if you are not sure whether he served his sentence, check the department of corrections website, it will have every offender who has served time listed there with information about the time served, if he's on parole and similar information for anyone who has ever been a state prisoner.


Remember that even though the criminal process is over, your sister may be able to sue your uncle (if he has any assets worth suing for).

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Time to heal yours and your sisters wounds. Call the National Sexual Assault Hotline for counseling referral. or just to talk. 1-800-656-HOPE.

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