- It is process whereby the accused, the offended party and the
prosecution work out a mutually satisfactory disposition of the
case subject to the court’s approval.
It usually involves the defendant’s pleading guilty to a lesser
offense or to only one or some of the counts of a multi-count
indictment in return for a lighter sentence than that for the
It precludes the filing and prosecution of the offense originally
charged in the information, except when the plea of guilty to a
lesser offense is without the consent of the offended party and
Plea to Lesser Offense During Arraignment
- During arraignment, the accused may enter a plea of guilty to
a lesser offense PROVIDED there is consent of the offended party
AND of the prosecutor to the plea of guilty to a lesser offense
that is necessarily included in the offense charged.
Plea to Lesser Offense After Arraignment but Before Trial
- After arraignment but BEFORE trial, the accused may still be
allowed to plead guilty to a lesser offense after withdrawing
his previous plea of not guilty. No amendment to the complaint or
information is necessary.
Plea to Lesser Offense After Trial has Begun
- After the prosecution has rested its case, a change of plea to a
lesser offense may be granted by the judge, with the approval of
the prosecutor and the offended party if the prosecution does not
have sufficient evidence to establish the guilt of the accused
for the crime charged. The judge cannot on its own grant the
change of plea.
Presence and Consent of the Offended Party
- The consent of the offended party is necessary before the accused
may be allowed to plead guilty to a lesser offense. If the plea
of guilty to a lesser offense is made without the consent of the
prosecutor and the offended party, the conviction of the accused
shall not be a bar to another prosecution for an offense which
necessarily includes the offense charged in the former information
(No double jeopardy).
- If the offended party fails to appear during arraignment, the
court may allow the accused to plead guilty to a lesser offense
with the conformity of the trial prosecutor alone.