In plea bargaining – is a guilty plea at a PCMH 'technically' an admission of guilt?

A friend wants to admit to a lesser charge as she cannot cope with the stress of going in front of a jury and her ex-husband who has made vindictive, malicious and false allegations against her. The main charge is indictable whereas the lesser is summary. The admission of guilt may have repercussions on her employment status.

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4 Responses to “In plea bargaining – is a guilty plea at a PCMH 'technically' an admission of guilt?”

  1. SimonC says:

    Is a guilty plea an admission of guilt? Perhaps I’ve missed the point, but of course it is.

    A PCMH (Plea and Case Management Hearing) is the first step on the crown court trial process. By the time you get to this stage you have already been charged with an offence, and have elected or been sent by the magistrates to crown court for trial.

    "Plea bargains" are not technically part of the English legal process, although they obviously happen informally to the extent that more serious charges may be dropped. But the sentence imposed is always a matter for the courts and can never be part of a bargain. Although less serious offences have lower sentences, and early guilty pleas attract a sentence discount.

    But by the time you get to a PCMH its too late – you have to plead the offences that are charged and put to you. But whatever you plead guilty to, the plea is an admission of guilt and will lead to a conviction and sentence.

    My advice is to talk to your solicitor ASAP.

  2. Oops suspended again says:

    Tell her to call a lawyer. There are pleas that can be made where you admit there is enough evidence to prove guilt. But you are not admitting to anything. Its an Alford plea. I dont know if it could apply here. Nevermind I was not paying attention. This is from the UK.

  3. Valor D says:

    Yes it is. The whole point in a plea bargain is to get the person to change their plea to guilty. Sometimes it’s to a lesser charge, sometimes it’s with a condition for sentencing. But, it’s still a guilty plea; and, of course, that carries consequences.

  4. Neil says:

    Of course it is. And when a guilty plea is entered the judge will usually ask the defendant, on the record, whether they are in fact guilty.

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