Plea negotiations cannot be entered as evidence against an accused at a jury trial.
Vermont criminal defendants often worry that if they entertain plea offers or counter the prosecutor’s plea offer with their own offer to resolve the case that these negotiations or offers to pled guilty can be used against them as evidence if they ultimately choose to go to a jury trial. The drafters of the rules of criminal procedure realized that if plea negotiations could be used as evidence against a criminal defendant at a jury trial then it would have an obvious chilling effect on use of plea negotiations to resolve criminal cases.
Vermont Rule of Evidence 410 reads as follows:
Except as otherwise provided in this rule, evidence of the following is not, in any civil or criminal proceeding, admissible against the defendant or ward who made the plea or was a participant in the plea discussions: