If after all of the evidence is reviewed, and it is determined that the best option is to enter a “plea” which is basically an admission of guilt, there are several more steps to take than just admitting you committed the offense and getting sentenced.
There are three types of pleas options:
First, there is a negotiated plea. A negotiated plea is where your defense attorney and the prosecutor agree upon a sentence. The sentence has to be approved by the judge.
The second type is a blind plea. A blind plea is where there is no agreement between your defense attorney and the prosecutor. There is no agreed upon sentence and you do not know what sentence the judge is going to order. This type of plea should be avoided if possible, as the judge can suprise you with a much greater sentence than you and your attorney expect.
The third type of plea is a 402 Conference. This is when your attorney, the prosecutor and the judge discuss the case. Your attorney will tell the judge about you, your family, your job, any difficult issues that help explain what happened. The prosecutor will tell the judge about any prior criminal history you have as well as any other information the prosecutor thinks is justification for a greater punishment. The judge will make a decision on how he would punish you if you enter a plea of guilty. A 402 conference is preferred more than a blind plea as we know what sentence to expect upon a plea of guilty – – no surprises.