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The criminal justice process - Plea or no plea

Information about plea agreements in the criminal justice process.


If the prosecution and defense agree on a resolution, a plea hearing will be scheduled.

Pleas can happen at anytime after a case has been charged until a verdict has been read. In King County, most pleas occur on a calendar with several other cases set for plea that same day.

Sometimes a defendant is sentenced immediately following a plea, but typically a sentencing hearing is scheduled two weeks later to provide victims an opportunity to attend and provide a victim impact statement.

No plea

Sometimes, negotiated resolutions aren't always possible. If this happens, a case may be set for trial. Typically, once a case has been referred to be set for trial, a trial attorney will be assigned to the case.

Crime Victims

A victim or survivor should be notified in advance of a plea, but in some instances, pleas occur before proper notice can be provided. If you have been in contact with our office and have expressed interest in providing a victim impact statement during sentencing a sentencing hearing will usually be scheduled out a couple weeks to provide you an opportunity to attend.