Suppose you are accused of something that doesn't make sense or shouldn't be placed on you based on jurisdiction, and decide with your retained defense attorney to file a motion to dismiss those charges.

If the government has already offered you a plea offer quite early on, with no jail time/small fine, can they make that offer less favorable just because you filed that motion?

They were annoyed and "mad" that you've bothered to file a motion, so they screw you over with an increased sentence?

1 Answer 1


A prosecutor has very broad discretion to offer and rescind a plea agreement, subject to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 11. This note gathers together sources that have studied the effect of this discretion. If you reject an offer, then the offer isn't there anymore. Either side can withdraw from a bargain until the judge accepts it.

  • @use6726 so if they do retract the offer and modify it accordingly since you filed the motion, will they consider the fact that if you've already been denied bail and time you've already spent in prison (sometimes months)?
    – user14142
    Dec 27, 2017 at 20:18
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    I don't think there's any way to know in general what a prosecutor will do; they can. The main motivation is getting a conviction at the lowest prosecutorial cost. Time spent isn't a fact that can be used at trial to secure a conviction, if that's what you're asking.
    – user6726
    Dec 27, 2017 at 20:35
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    @Unicorn13601 In other words, yes, they can do what you propose in the OP or pretty much anything else (other than withdraw an accepted plea bargain which is a more complex area of law).
    – ohwilleke
    Dec 27, 2017 at 21:56
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    Theoretically, they could even withdraw an offer that was accepted by the defendant, as long as it hasn't been accepted by the judge yet. (Doing so defeats the whole point of plea agreements, though, so it wouldn't be in their interest unless circumstances change dramatically.)
    – cHao
    Dec 27, 2017 at 22:15
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    @Unicorn13601 This is entirely fact specific. There are all manner of reasons that plea bargain offers can change.
    – ohwilleke
    Dec 28, 2017 at 4:03

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