Legal Question in Criminal Law in Missouri

What is the Alfred Plea ?

What is an Alfred Plea?

Asked on 11/09/04, 3:56 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael R. Nack Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
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Re: What is the Alfred Plea ?

What your are asking about is actually called an "Alford" plea. It was based on an old case in which the defendant's last name was "Alford". Anyway, in Courts which accept such pleas, the defendant is allowed to enter into a plea bargain which technically requires the defendant to plead "Guilty" but does not require the defendant to admit that the defendant actually did the crime. What the defendant is admitting is that the state has enough evidence to convict. One benefit of such a plea bargain comes about in cases where the defendant may also be sued in civil court. For instance a defendant has a terrible auto accident and is charged with DWI. The people injured in the accident sue the defendant in civil court for damages. if the defendant pleads "Guilty" to the DWI in the criminal case, the injured people can use that plea as an admission of guilt and fault on the defendant's part in the civil case. If the defendant had entered only an "Alford" plea in the criminal case, the injured people could not use it against the defendant in the civil case. They would have to prove the defendant's responsibility for their damages independently. There are many other examples, but I hope that this explains the general idea. Good luck!

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11/10/04, 12:19 am

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