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Plea bargaining: General requirements; prohibited agreements.

A Las Vegas Criminal Attorney Describes Rules for Plea Deals in Nevada

Plea bargainingPlea bargaining is a common way that cases get resolved in the Nevada criminal justice system. Plea bargains can be a good option for defendants who are afraid that the evidence against them is strong and that there is a significant likelihood of conviction for criminal offenses for which significant penalties can be faced.

Before you agree to a plea deal, you need to make sure that admitting guilt is actually the best choice for you under the circumstances.  This is a fact-based decision that must be made based on the specifics of your case. It is important to understand the law and rules of evidence when deciding whether to negotiate a plea deal or not, so you should get legal help from a qualified and knowledgeable Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer. LV Criminal Defense is here to provide you with invaluable assistance in deciding whether to negotiate a plea deal. Our legal team also understands Nevada rules for plea agreements and we can work with the prosecutor on your behalf to get you the best deal possible.

Nevada Rules for Plea Bargaining

Nevada Revised Statute Section 174.061 sets forth the Nevada rules for plea agreements. This statute specifically addresses agreements in which prosecutors make deals with defendants who are willing to testify against others.  Often, there are co-conspirators who are involved in a criminal act together or who are aware of criminal activities of others. Prosecutors may want to prosecute one of the defendants more than the other, or may simply want to improve the chances of conviction against either defendant. Making a deal to get testimony against a co-conspirator can make sense for prosecutors and for a defendant who can get immunity or get a much less serious penalty than might otherwise be faced.

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According to N.R.S. 174.061, it is permissible for prosecutors to make a deal in which a defendant pleads guilty, nolo contendere (no contest) or guilty but mentally ill and agrees to testify against others in exchange for a reduced charge or a reduced sentence. However, the deal is void if the defendant gives false testimony. The agreement made between the prosecutor and the defendant who is making the deal must be in writing and must contain a statement warning that it will be voided if the testimony provided by the defendant is not honest.

Prosecutors are not permitted to enter into a plea deal with defendants if the deal would limit the defendant’s testimony to a predetermined formula. N.R.S. 174.061 also prohibits prosecutors from making deals with defendants that would be contingent on a defendant’s testimony contributing to any specific outcome.  In other words, a prosecutor cannot make a deal contingent on a co-conspirator getting convicted of a crime.

A Las Vegas Defense Attorney Can Help in Making a Plea Deal

If you are interested in making a plea deal or if a prosecutor is offering you the chance to make a deal in exchange for testimony, you need to make sure you do everything you can to get the very best possible agreement with the prosecutor. Sometimes, you can trade testimony for immunity and end up with a clean criminal record and no penalties at all. Other times, your penalties can be significantly reduced and you can face much less severe charges.  You want to negotiate with the prosecutor and not just accept the first deal offered so you can get the best outcome you can.

LV Criminal Defense has extensive experience helping defendants to get favorable plea deals, both in exchange for their testimony and also in exchange for simply admitting guilt so a prosecutor doesn’t have to go to trial. We work hard to keep you out of prison or lessen the consequences of conviction significantly. Give us a call as soon as possible and definitely before you agree to a plea deal so you can get help dealing with prosecutors from a Las Vegas criminal lawyer who is a tough negotiator who cares about your future.

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