Most cases are resolved without the necessity of a trial. Often there is no real question of guilt and the only question to be resolved is the amount and degree of punishment to be given. Because both the state and the defense usually have a good idea of what punishment would likely result if the case were tried, the question may be fairly resolved by a plea agreement.
A plea agreement is an agreement in which both the state and the defense agree on a suitable punishment. If the judge agrees at sentencing, the case is settled in the most efficient manner. Should the judge believe the sentence is inappropriate, however, he/she may assess a lesser punishment than the plea agreement suggested or reject the plea agreement and proceed as if an agreement had never been reached. This often means the case must go to trial.
Your input is certainly welcome, but this office will make the final decision on whether a plea agreement is appropriate in a specific case. We will consider the severity of the crime, the wishes of the victim, the likelihood of success at trial, and the probable punishment that would be assessed without a plea agreement.