cop a plea


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cop a plea

n. slang for a "plea bargain" in which an accused defendant in a criminal case agrees to plead guilty or "no contest" to a crime in return for a promise of a recommendation of leniency in sentencing to be made by the prosecutor to the judge and/or an agreement by the prosecutor to drop some of the charges. Often the judge agrees to the recommendation before the plea is entered (becomes final). (See: plea bargain)

References in periodicals archive ?
These two factors mean that the widespread practice of plea bargaining--where prosecutors overcharge for a crime and defense attorneys usually urge defendants to cop a plea for a lighter sentence--has increased repercussions for people of color who end up literally signing away their lives on the dotted line.
As Tim Jefferson put it, "You don't really have a choice but to cop a plea.