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Name: People v. Trejo
Case #: B226436
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 5
Opinion Date: 09/27/2011
Summary

Miscommunication and confusion over the prosecution’s offer during plea negotiations does not infringe on any right of the defendant if he took no action to his detriment in reliance on the disputed offer. There were two different prosecutors involved in negotiations. There was extensive discussion on the record about a 20-year offer which the defendant rejected. The following day there was a denial that the offer had ever been tendered. It is the responsibility of the lawyers in the prosecutor’s office to “‘let the left hand know what the right hand is doing'” and that clearly was not what happened here. However, there is no constitutional right to a plea bargain. Plea bargains are governed by contract principles and an offer can be revoked or withdrawn at any time before the defendant enters the plea of guilty or otherwise detrimentally relies on the bargain.