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Plea Bargaining in Victimless Crime Cases

What do you think of when you hear the term “plea bargain?” A backroom deal cut by the prosecutor? A criminal defendant getting a break in exchange for information on another case or for a guilty plea on reduced charges?

In a plea bargain, the defendant gives up an important constitutional right to trial and hands over total control to the prosecutor. It is a completely arbitrary process, absent of transparency. Basically, prosecutors use plea bargains to secure guilty pleas from criminal defendants. This is where “pile on” charges or overcharging comes into play (additional charges used as leverage to get a defendant to agree to a guilty plea to at least one charge).

Trying cases is time consuming. Without the plea bargain process, prosecutors would have to conduct trials in every case they prosecute, and they would have the burden of proving every element of each offense beyond a reasonable doubt before a judge or jury.

At nevertakeaplea.org, defendants in victimless crime cases are encouraged to consider exercising their constitutional right to a trial. If more victimless crime defendants took this approach, the system would bog down and, one would hope, force prosecutors to focus on violent crimes with victims.

- cjoyce

10 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. James says:

    I think of blackmail.

  2. Ross says:

    Plea deals are not offers, they are forced on you. I commited a victimless crime. I sold 6 of lsd to a bitch wearing a wire that was suppose to be my friend. When i get indited all of a sudden im charged with sale of controled substance 1 AND possession with intent to sale of controlled substance 1. No lsd was recovered from my house, NONE. I was offered a plea deal for 10 years, 7 suspended, 3 to serve, 5 on paper, x2 run consecutive for both charges. Due to the way the deal was done and the fact that the snitch would skip court to cover her ass, the DA had a very weak case. But I live in rankin county in mississippi. There is no way if i take anything to trail im winning. The jury hears the 3 letters L, S, & D and im fucked its a conviction from the door. The DA could just stand up say “LSD, I rest my case” and im history. Here is the kicker, anyone in my county who takes it trail and loses, gets the max sentence. that is 30 years for sale 30 for intent. 60 years, under our laws i would have to serve 25% thats 15 years. So I had to take a charge i could have beat in a fair court, plus a charge i did not do possession with intent my ass. The evidence shows this. Sale= 6 yellow and green sweettarts with dark spots, Intent= 6 yellow and green sweettarts with dark spots. Hmm wtf is that, the same thing maybe? cause i know for a fact when they kicked my door in I had 4 purple and blue sweettarts with dark spots, that went down the toliet. So now i am left 2 more months on house arrest @ 91$ a month, 2 years of parole @ god knows what a month, 5 years on probation @ who knows who cares i got infinte money right, not!, not 1 but 2 felonies on my record, a child, whose mother and my soulmate died because of this plea bargin system and total neglect on the county jails part, and my life in shambles. Now please DA, Judge, Jury, Police tell me where is the fucking justice? I will tell you where in their god damn wallets, and bank accounts is where they hide the justice. with your 98% conviction rates. You dont have a fucking conviction rate you peice of shit, you have force plea bargins because no one can win a fair a trail in your shit hole of a county because you find 12 snotty ass white bitches that think they are better than any one else on the planet, and you wave around fancy words like LSD and acid and weed and gun and pills and he did it trust me i am authority, and they say well okay if he says they did it that is good enough for me. What if i never heard of lsd or acid before they kicked my door, what if i was just some nice little white boy going to school on my way to a bright future to cure cancer and aids, and you ruined that because you were wrong, because you forced a deal on me because 3 years under 25% is alot better than a for sure 60 cause im gonna lose. So go cut your deals, make your fake evidence, force the innocent into prisons with violent gang members, and murders. sleep tight on your sacks of money, and the pure thoughts of your flawless “conviction” rate. get old and fat and be merry with your still ridiculous stacks of cash you earned off the destruction of others lives. then die and rot a hell. because you will one day be in our shoes and you will be judged and you will be found wicked and immoral and wrong and evil and full of hatred, and you will be damned and guess what. GOD DON”T TAKE PLEA DEALS BITCH

  3. jan says:

    I have seen prosecutors propose “victims” who are truly not victims to further their causes. This is unethical….police and prosecutor misconduct must continue to be exposed. Our country is way overdue for change!!

  4. Matt McCoy says:

    I’m from Rankin County as well and as Ross states in the post above “there is no justice served” for anybody going against the crooked, scandalous, misleading, and manipulating police judges and lawyers. I don’t know of one lawyer in Hinds or Rankin county that will fight your case with your best interest in mind. They work for the courts so trust little they tell you and do what you believe is right. Ross commented on the 98% conviction rate and I also think that this is far from true justice. They have everybody so scared or worried about going to prison for the rest of their life that they plea or turn snitch. It’s a crying shame how it plays out. I have three felonies. Each felony is a separate charge at different times. Felony 1: Auto burglary. I did drive this guy one night and he broke in two cars. I was brought in charged and convicted with other cars and not either one was from the night mentioned. I was charged with twO autoburglary charges that I wasn’t involved in due to this guy telling the cops some bs. This was bs but the next is why I’m sharing what happened and why I don’t believe in our court system. Felony #2: Conspiracy to Manufacture. This is far from true. I didnt conspire with two people who I thought to be friends in the manufacturing of an illegal substance. I have no problems admitting this. I know that the courts didn’t have the proof to convict me with this because everything was based on hearsay. There were quite a few people involved due to the fact That the two people I mentioned earlier lost sight of what was important. Most importantly they involved three time convicted felons that never served time except for a little time in rehab. They claim money bought their freedom but I know better and you should too. Back to the point, the two people I was involved with and the others including an ex of five yrs was never caught in the manufacturing of meth. We wasn’t caught with any precursors or did we get caught with the finished product. The 3rd time convicted snitch got busted pointed our way and boom, They bust in on a pussy bitch who can’t hold up for a gram. This bitch I speak of let’s them manipulate him cause he is a dumb fucker to begin with and he shows them some old used cans of ether and some other things of the such. My name and my exes name was on a chalk board that we kept score on when we was throwing darts. I was never caught with anything and was only mentioned by one of ten people who wrote statements. The one was my ex I mentioned earlier and she was tricked by the police which isn’t an excuse but I was in love and let it ride. Even after she lied for two yrs saying she never told them anything. Evidence incriminating? I think not? I wasn’t convicted of the charge because I caught another charge which I really had no part of. Felony #3: conspiracy to commit a crime. This was a charge for receiving stolen property. I was charged and held for three months with a five hundred thousand dollar bond. I then paid two thousand dollars for a bond hearing and the results were ok considering how much they lowered it. 500 to 35 which tells me that it never should have been set this high to begin with. The stolen property was a ar15 assault rifle, two bullet proof vest, a pistol, shotgun, and enough ammo to take out three armies. This was all stolen from a Pearl Police car in Pearl,Ms by two or three people I’ve never met till the cops put me in the same cell with the snitch who told on himself and another suppose to be friend of mine. The two that stole the items mentioned brought the guns to the guy I knew and they traded it for a very small amount of drugs. I wasn’t there for this transaction or did I ever know the gun was stolen. Needless to say, I damn sure didn’t know it was stole from a ragedy ass policemans trunk which I failed to mention was left open, and keys were left in the ignition. A way younger person could have been the one who stole all these weapons and who knows what would have happened then. I took dude to sell gun to a guy who allegedly sells drugs that the guy I knew set up the deal. Took him sold gun and didn’t receive any money or drugs like I was accused. There was no evidence against me. They searched my house with no search warrant. My grandpa was the one who spoke with them. He specifically asked if they had a search warrant. One cops suggest they don’t need one we will kick in your door old man. My grandpa then says ur not coming in without a warrant then shuts the door. They barge in and he protects his home punching one officer and they proceed to use excessive force and hurt him physically. Arrest him and later indict him later after they dropped charges at court. My grandpa was a cop for 27 yrs, deacon at church, and a outstanding citizen in our community. Never even heard him say a cuss word. Ass or shit, nothing. He knew the law and went by what he knows the law states about search and procedure. The cops were not even in their jurisdiction. In a completely different city. Anyways had to take a plea cause my twenty thousand dollar lawyer thought this to be best. We were screwed from start and are still suffering from the police and our local courts. They are not for the people and have everybody so scared to face trial that the 98% conviction rate has been here for ten or more yrs. we have to fight for our futures and our kids as well. I am tired of being harassed labeled as a criminal and being mistreated by the gang of cops that terrorize the county I live in. I don’t do drugs or any other illegal activities today and I still have to watch my back and dodge cops like I’m a drug lord or king pin. Its not right and I will face this issue with our justice system. No threats. I’m talking bout all legal ways of making my family and community feel safe from the cops. Sorry for the ramblings I’m ADD

    • Kat says:

      You are correct OMG everything you said is the truth. I am looking for everybody that has been wronged in RANKN COUNTY, MS. They are curupt, liars and thieves. The lawyers are all liars and thiefs that county is full of GREED and Curuption and stamping everybody with the mark of the Beast. It is time we all get together and do something about this county. Lets quit talking and go forward with ACTION. I know everything you have said about Rankin County is completely true it has happened to my son.

  5. Mellow says:

    Hey Matt! I am labeled ADD as well, and we are extremely misunderstood especially within the legal system! I felt very pressured and coerced into pleading guilty for DUI and now they want me to plead to more probation time and community service because they say I was drunk in public. They are threatening 6 months in jail. Yes, it is blackmail!

  6. George Banning says:

    i agree completely.
    In my case, I was advised to plead guilty to second degree assault. No assault took place. It was a “he said/she said case” where a clerk in a crowded K-Mart accused me assault at a register. The video surveillance showed no assault yet my attorney never viewed the tapes. no did he subpoena any of the many witnesses who were present. Had he done so he would have the proof of innocence that I needed. I requested a jury trial. My attorney waited until the last minute and was not prepared for trial. All he needed to do was subpoena the video tapes that he never viewed. Even the police report stated that the video did not show an assault.
    My attorney did not wish to take it to trial. He stated to me that he found the plaintiff’s statement credible. No other evidence was present. Only the statement of an employee.
    Upon the advice of council I plead guilty to a crime I did not commit. So I was told to lie in court and apologize for my actions.
    Can anything be done at this point?

  7. Robert says:

    Its wrong i agree!!! However my situation was very different. Im a former police officer from VA and was charged with attempt yes “Attempt” to possess a sch 1-2 drug (oxycodon). Im not going to get into full details but what i will say is basically i have a back condition DDD that causes alot of pain. At the time in 08 i was seeing a Dr. That was treating my condition unfortunately my insurance at the time was failing to pay witch resulted in me receiving a warrent in debt. Granted its only civil i was warned by our police chief that if i revived another i could lose my job. I knew a friend that also received pain meds for his back he had called me knowing my situation and assured me if i needed anything for the pain he would be there. At the time i declined the offer weeks passed my pain had gotten so bad my back was locking up on me making it very dangerous to attempt to do my job, was still fighting with the insurance co. And not able to go see any dr without paying a large fee that i wouldn’t have understand i have 4 little kids they come first, i made a terrible mistake and contacted this “friend”. Now at the time for those who read this and say “what were you thinking” well i was thinking i wasn’t doing anything wrong after all i only asked for

  8. Robert says:

    1 pill and i have in the past gotten oxycodon from my mother i only took them so i could sleep and to ease the pain even when i was a officer hell i never charged anyone with 1 single pill without a prescription. Anyway as i was headin to meet him something come over me that what i was doing was wrong and decided not to get it so i pulled in the parking lot of a foodmart where we were to meet kept driving never stopped or met up with him and turned out abd went home.. the next day i was charged with the attempt to possess charge i. I had never heard of that charge in my 5spot yrs of ‘3the but being from VA a commonwealth state it was under a common law.. i to had a public defeander who basically told me if i didn’t take the plea the commonwealth would push for the max 5 yrs and if i had a bench trial (facts in front of a judge) i could get more time being a ex officer and a jury trial could be worse due to the public already not trusting police. So like many of you i took the plea of 1 yr 1 yr suspended a fine and probation better then 5 or more i suppouse. I was not a bad officer i never did what some bad cops have done or are known for i was vvery well liked in my county was known as a chance giver would always bother me arresting others when i was forced but hey it was my job so please dont judge me im just telling my story and agreeing with this thread. I wish u all luck

  9. Diane Dalbey says:

    I’m a 52 year old women, who was assailted by a 26 year old raciest “Amature M.M.A fighter”.
    He was on Felony Probation for another Hate Crime and Drugs. After he left me he went to another bar and assaulted a man leaving him with a fractured skull and brain bleeding. I wasn’t involved in the case at all. The Victims Advocate told me there was nothing going on in the case, and one day I receive a phone call from her on the behalf of the prosecutor informing me that ‘ I’m no longer needed for court the defendant took a plea to ‘Felony Assault” no Battery !! My head was stapled closed !! In California a prosecutor is prohibited from offering a Defendant a Plea Agreement only if there wasn’t enough evidence, or witnesses couldn’t be located Penal Code Section 1197.2, and anyone who attempts to keep a victim or witness from testifing are in violation of Penal Code 136.1 . The prosecutor when deemed right the “Marsy Rights” Penal Code Section 679.026 C (1). There was video, witness, staements, and since I was unable to make a statement that night, no one ever asked me for one. I started to learn Victims Rights on my own, and when they are violated there is no action or disciple to those who violated them. I filed for the transcripts, and I was sent back my check, and told to ask the prosecutor, who already has denied me. I wrote the Distrect Attorney, and was sent back the police report, everything else was redacted or exempt from disclosure. The “Innocent ” will all be locked up, and the Rats and new Mafia “Gansters in Blue” will be left out on the streets. I wont drop this case, believe me they are pissed. My name is all over that D.A’s Office. I told them mover over Charman, and move over Northern, the new tolite paper roll is coming. THE CONSTITUTIONAL ROLL!! ALL ITS GOOD FOR IS TO WIPE YOUR A– WITH IT, AND FLUSH IT DOWN THE TOLITE.

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