Plea Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Plea, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Plea?

it refers to the response of the defendant,accused by the plaintiff’s claims and charges of crime, against him.

History and Meaning of Plea

A plea is a formal statement given by the defendant in a criminal case, in response to the charges brought against them. The plea is typically entered at the beginning of a trial and sets the stage for the rest of the proceedings. The plea can be guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

In the early days of the legal system, a plea was simply a statement made by the defendant that they were either guilty or not guilty of the crime they were accused of. However, over time, the plea has become a more formalized process. Today, the procedure for entering a plea is governed by strict rules, and a defendant must follow these rules carefully to ensure that their plea is valid.

Examples of Plea

  1. John entered a plea of not guilty to the charge of theft.
  2. Mary entered a plea of no contest to the charge of driving under the influence.
  3. The defendant's lawyer advised him to enter a plea bargain, which would result in a reduced sentence.
  4. The judge rejected the defendant's plea of self-defense and found him guilty of murder.

Legal Terms Similar to Plea

  • Arraignment: The formal proceeding during which a defendant is brought before a court and informed of the charges against them.
  • Guilty plea: A formal admission by a defendant that they committed the crime they are accused of.
  • No contest plea: A plea in which the defendant does not admit guilt but agrees to be punished as if guilty.