What can I do if I don't agree with a plea deal? As a victim, may I speak in court before judge accepts plea?
3 attorney answers
Mr. Haber and De Groot are correct. As a victim, you can attempt to speak with the judge prior to the plea hearing but in the end the disposition is up to the judge.
I agree with Mr. Haber. Yes, you can speak to the judge.
R. Jason de Groot, Esq. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I make do not constitute legal advice. Any statements made by me are based upon the limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in Florida.
Q: What can I do if I don't agree with a plea deal?
A: Nothing. Sentencing is up to the Judge.
Q: As a victim, may I speak in court before judge accepts plea?
In Florida victims of crimes have rights, both constitutional (s. 16, Art. I of the Florida's State Constitution) and by statute (see: Chapter 960 Florida Statutes). Still, in Florida, the State Attorney is empowered to bring criminal charges to bear on behalf of all of the people of the State, the victim being only one of those millions of people (albeit usually an important one to the success of their case). If you want to increase your odds at having the State pursue your interests then you can hire your own criminal defense lawyer to serve as your Victim's Right's Advocate.
Again, no one can control what the State does on behalf of the people, but you will increase your odds at achieving a favorable outcome if you have an effective victim's rights advocate pursuing your agenda. Many criminal defense lawyers serve as effective victim's rights advocates.
I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
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