Can someone plead guilty if they admit they did not commit the crime? I assume the answer is no. I guess they might take a plea if the lawyer does not think he can win the case . (but maybe in that case you need a better lawyer)
IANAL but I’ve heard of people using the Alford plea, in which “a defendant in a criminal case does not admit to the criminal act and asserts innocence. In entering an Alford plea, the defendant admits that the evidence the prosecution has would be likely to persuade a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
No. At least in my state, part of the process of entering a plea is the Judge asking a series of standard questions, under oath, to the defendant. Among other things, these questions will have the defendant admit that he did the crime to which he is pleading, and that he admits committing each and every element of the crime voluntarily and without reservation. If the answers given do not satisfy the judge, then the Judge may refuse to accept the plea and set the case for trial…or at least let the defendant have another opportunity to discuss the situation with his attorney.
Yes, the Alford plea is a thing, but it is not a routine plea arrangement…
forgot about that Alford plea. One reason that is done is in case they get sued later , they can still claim innocence.
From a column I did a while back:
It’s not uncommon. For example, some indigent defendants sit in jail a year or more awaiting trial because they cannot post bail. Sometimes the usual penalty for the crime they are accused of is less than the time they have spent in jail awaiting trial. So they give up, plead guilty, the judge sentences them to time served and they can go home immediately.
In America, Innocent Until Proven Guilty? Not For Most People Who Are Stuck in Jail
I remember reading about a defendant in a NYC mob case in the 20’s or 30’s - he pled “nolo contedere” and the more brilliant of the fine NYC journalists published the headline “X plead guilty in Italian”.
In the recent case of the boy who was arrested as a juvenile and spent 3 years in Rikers while his case bounced around and they couldn’t find his accuser, who also apparently changed his story… (Then not long after his release, he committed suicide). The story mentioned that a large number of fellow inmates said “why don’t you take the deal and plead guilty?” They said that innocent or guilty did not matter, he was screwed anyweay. That gives you an idea how much the average victim or executor of NY justice cares about the truth.