Alford Plea – a guilty plea, entered as part of a plea bargain, while not admitting guilt

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Alford plea:

1. A guilty plea that a defendant enters as part of a plea bargain without admitting guilt.  *  Similar to a plea of nolo contendere (allowed in some states), this plea is not considered compelled within the language of the Fifth Amendment if the plea represents a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent choice between the available options <the defendant — realizing the strength of the prosecution’s evidence and not wanting to risk the death penalty — entered an Alford plea>. North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 91 S. Ct. 160 (1970). — aka (in New York) Serrano plea (after People v. Serrano, 15 N.Y.2d 304 (1965)). [1]


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[1]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black & Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-62130-6



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