14. Enforce Agreement

The following sample motion to enforce agreement must be properly formatted with header information, line numbers, page numbers, etc. before being used in any court.



TO THE COURT AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY: PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on the date and time indicated above, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard in the above-entitled Court, the Defendant will move to dismiss the accusatory pleading.

The motion will be made on the grounds that the prosecution is barred by Double Jeopardy in that Defendant already entered into a plea bargain and Defendant is entitled to the benefit of the bargain.

The motion will be based on this notice of motion, on the memorandum of points and authorities served and filed herewith, on the records on file in this action, and on such oral and documentary evidence as may be presented at the hearing on the motion.


By Joe Whittington,
Attorney for Dave Douglass



Multiple cases were pending against Defendant:

• Case 987654, alleging Possession for Sale (Health and Safety §11378) stemming from a June 31, 2017 was dismissed for insufficient cause.
• Cases 765432 and 345678 were dismissed in the interest of justice.
• Case 234567 was resolved by a plea bargain in which Defendant pled to Health and Safety §11379(a) in exchange for a five year sentence
• Case 456789 was resolved by a plea bargain in which Defendant pled to Vehicle Code §10851(a) in exchange for a three year concurrent sentence

The instant case, 123456, Defendant is charged with Possession for Sale (Health and Safety §11378) stemming from a June 31, 2017 search of his home – the exact allegations of dismissed case 987654. The plea bargain was meant to encompass and resolve all allegations against Defendant, but the Prosecution violated the agreement by filing the instant case the day after the plea bargain was made.


The double jeopardy clause of Fifth Amendment guarantees that no person shall be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb, and it is made applicable to the states through the due process clause. Protection against double jeopardy is also embodied in California Constitution Article I §15. The California Constitution is a document of independent force and effect that may be interpreted in a manner more protective of a defendant’s rights than the Federal Constitution.

In California, a court’s inquiry is thus guided by the decisions announcing the minimum standards of double jeopardy protection under the Fifth Amendment, as well as the decisions interpreting the California Constitution and the statutory provisions implementing those constitutional protections. (People v. Fields (1996) 13 Cal. 4th 289, 297-298; see also Penal Code §1023).

Defendant’s plea bargain encompassed and resolved all known matters concerning him. Defendant has already been in jeopardy from matters stemming from the June 31, 2017 search of his home.


Courts interpret plea agreements according to contract principles, (Santobello v. New York (1971) 404 U.S. 257, 262-63), and the agreements should be enforced using the same principles (United States v. Schuman (9th Cir 1997) 127 F. 3rd 815, 817; People v. Bobbit (2006) 138 Cal. App. 4th 445; People v. Shelton (2006) 37 Cal. 4th 759).

Just as with other forms of contracts, a negotiated guilty plea is a “bargained for quid pro quo.” (United States v. Escamilla (9th Cir 1992) 975 F. 2nd 568, 571; People v. Gipson (2004) 117 Cal. App. 4th 1065). When a defendant performs his side of the bargain, the Prosecution is also required to perform its duty. A defendant is entitled to the benefit of the bargain. (United States v. Hyde (1997) 520 U.S. 670).


The Supreme Court, in Santobello v. New York (1971) 404 U.S. 257, explained the right to enforce a plea bargain in the following manner:

This phase of the process of criminal justice, and the adjudicative element inherent in accepting a plea of guilty, must be attended by safeguards to insure the defendant what is reasonably due in the circumstances. Those circumstances will vary, but a constant factor is that when a plea rests in any significant degree on a promise or agreement of the prosecutor, so that it can be said to be part of the inducement or consideration, such promise must be fulfilled.

When a defendant has detrimentally relied on promises made by the prosecution, such as in the instant case, he or she may obtain specific performance of those promises. (See for example Santobello v. New York (1971) 404 U.S. 257; United States v. McCray (8th Cir 1988) 849 F. 2nd 304, 306; In re Kenneth H. (2000), 80 Cal. App. 4th 143; People v. Mancheno (1982) 32 Cal. 3rd 855; People v. Thornton (2006) 137 Cal. App. 4th 241; People v. Rhoden (1999) 75 Cal. App. 4th 1346, 1355).

Defendant bargained for resolution of all pending matters in exchange for a lengthy prison sentence. The Prosecution should be bound to the agreement and the instant case should be dismissed.