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Michigan Cobb's Agreement in Criminal Law

What is a Cobb’s Plea?

A Cobb’s Plea is a legal mechanism that allows a person to plead guilty to a criminal offense with some certainty as to what their sentence from the judge will be.

In criminal cases a judge usually has fairly wide discretion when it comes to sentencing an individual. A sentence can include anything from jail or prison time, to restrictions on where a person can go or what they can do, and can also order the person to participate in therapy, and drug testing.

When a person enters into a Cobb’s agreement the judge may be very specific and tell them a definite jail term, or the judge may be more vague, for example the judge may agree to sentence the person to the lower half of the possible jail term.

If the defendant likes the Cobb’s agreement he can plead guilty and come back for sentencing. If the defendant does not like the offer the judge makes then the person can reject the offer and proceed to trial.

What if the Judge Doesn’t Follow the Cobb’s Agreement at Sentencing?

If the judge entered into a Cobb’s agreement with the Defendant and then reneges the Defendant is legally entitled to withdraw their plea and proceed to trial. This was the Defendant does not get tricked into pleading guilty.

Why is it called a Cobb’s Agreement

A Cobb’s agreement is based on the Michigan Supreme Court People v Cobbs, 443 Mich 276 (1993). The case involved kidnapping and the defendant entered into a sentencing agreement with the judge. The prosecutor objected and the case went up on appeal. The Michigan Supreme Court found that the judge had acted fairly.

If you have been charged with a criminal offense contact criminal defense lawyer Aaron J. Boria. We know the courts, we know the prosecutors, and we know the system. We defend our clients zealously and guide them through a difficult time. Call today for a free consultation.

For a list of some of the Michigan criminal offenses we defend click here for the main page.

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