Legal Dictionary

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Alford Plea

An Alford Plea is a guilty plea entered by a defendant as part of a plea bargain, without actually admitting guilt. The term Alford Plea comes from the North Carolina v. Alford Supreme Court case. In this case, the defendant argued that his guilty plea was not voluntary because he had done so only because he was afraid of getting the death sentence, not because he was guilty of committing murder. The Supreme Court ruled the Defendant can enter this kind of plea "when [the defendant] concludes that his interests require a guilty plea and the record strongly indicates guilt." North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25 (1970). Click here for more information about Plea Bargains.