711 West Moreland Boulevard, #100A, Waukesha, WI 53188
Facebook Twitter Linkedin


Bucher Law Group, LLC

What Is An Alford Plea in Relation to Criminal Proceedings?

 Posted on May 26, 2023 in Criminal Defense

WI Defense LawyerIn criminal law, an Alford plea is a type of guilty plea in which the defendant does not admit to committing the crime but agrees that the prosecution has enough evidence to obtain a conviction. This type of plea allows the defendant to plead guilty but maintain their innocence in the eyes of the law. If you have been charged with a crime and are wondering what your options are concerning how you should plead, hire a criminal defense attorney and discuss your options as you look to pursue a favorable outcome in your legal matter.

What is Most Important to Know About Alford Pleas?

The Alford plea is a relatively recent development in criminal law, dating back to a 1970 Supreme Court decision in North Carolina v. Alford. In that case, the defendant Alford pleaded guilty to second-degree murder but maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings. Alford agreed to the guilty plea only to avoid the death penalty, which would have been the punishment if he had been convicted of first-degree murder, which was the crime he was initially charged with. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court upheld the plea, recognizing that a defendant’s decision to plead guilty may be influenced by the rational fear of the consequences a full trial could cause.

By entering an Alford plea, the defendant acknowledges that the prosecution possesses enough evidence to likely convict them if the case were to go to trial. An Alford plea results in a criminal conviction, but the defendant is able to maintain their innocence in the eyes of the court. In general, one significant benefit of entering an Alford plea is that it can often result in a more favorable outcome than a contested trial. For instance, in some cases, prosecutors may offer reduced charges or sentences for having pleaded to an Alford plea.

However, there are also drawbacks to an Alford plea. One primary concern is that the defendant relinquishes several constitutional rights in exchange for the plea, including the right to a trial by jury and the right to remain silent. Another issue that comes with accepting an Alford plea is the social stigma, as the defendant will be considered convicted of the crime despite maintaining their innocence. The Alford plea is not available in all cases, and its acceptance often depends on the discretion of the court.

Contact a Waukesha County Criminal Defense Attorney

For experienced criminal legal representation, contact the skilled Jefferson County criminal defense lawyer with Bucher Law Group, LLC. Call 262-303-4916 for a free consultation.


Source - https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/alford_plea


Share this post:
AVVO SuperLawyers BBB Thervo 2017 Martindale Hubbel City Voter List Criminal Defense Blog
Back to Top