The parties to a plea agreement determine whether or not the plea is binding on the court:
Two-party ABA approved plea: An agreement between the prosecution and defense, presenting a recommendation to the judge. Here, the judge is able to ignore the recommendation and sentence the defendant up to the maximum penalty.
Three-party ABA approved plea: An agreement in which the prosecution and defense present an agreement to the court, which, if the court is not willing to “bind” itself, permits the Defendant to go to another court.
There are many different types of plea agreements in Baltimore City:
Guilty plea: Defendant admits guilt.
Alford plea: Defendant pleads guilty without admitting guilt.
Not guilty agreed statement of facts: Defendant pleads not guilty, but proceeds on an agreed statement of facts as if guilty.
Nolo contendere: Defendant does not contest the charges and the court treats the Defendant as if guilty.
The terms of a plea agreement generally include one or more of the following:
Charges: The Defendant pleads guilty to one or more charges and the remaining charges are dismissed and/or placed on the stet docket by the prosecution.
Cooperation by Defendant: The Defendant provides information and testifies on behalf of the prosecution in another case.
Sentence: Agreements usually include the period of incarceration, length of probation or parole, supervision while on probation or parole restitution, and community service.