When Should You Take a Plea Deal in Your Los Angeles, CA Criminal Case?

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It can be tough to make the choice to take a plea deal. In order to do so you must plead guilty to a crime, even if it isn’t the crime you were originally charged with committing. 

It’s never an ideal situation, yet there are times when our team will advise you to do just that. Here are the most common reasons why we tell our clients that a plea deal is their best option.

The prosecution has a strong case. 

In California, the prosecutor is required to provide your defense lawyer with certain information about the case. Some gets turned over at arraignment, some we have to request.

This information could include the 911 call, the police report, witness interviews, police detective reports, and even existing exonerating evidence. 

When this goes well, we have a pretty good sense of how strong the prosecution’s case against you might be.

In addition, we’ll try to work with you to come up with exculpatory evidence, such as witnesses who can corroborate an alibi, receipts or phone records which show you were far away from the scene of the crime, or other helpful items.

We’re not miracle workers, and if it looks like you’re legally guilty we’re usually going to suggest that you take a plea deal. Sometimes the courts are a lot harsher on defendants who take a case all the way to trial, and if your chances at trial are not good then you could just be adding a great deal of time to your eventual sentence, and spending a great deal of money, to fight a war that can’t be fought.

You’ve already served a lot of time.

While California’s pretrial release strategies usually mean that anyone accused of a non-violent crime probably doesn’t do a lot of jail time prior to trial, the landscape can look a lot different in a violent felony case. If you can’t meet bail then you could have been in jail for months, or even years, before your case gets anywhere near a trial. 

Your rights to a speedy trial don’t always keep this from happening. In Los Angeles County, 1,317 people wait in county jails for more than 3 years without being convicted or sentenced for a crime; 332 have waited longer than 5 years. Delays can come from court backlogs, from our own need for extra time to prepare, to the need to hold certain case-related hearings. 

Misdemeanor cases usually go a lot faster, but felony cases can drag on and on. 

You are, at the very least, credited for that time. So if you’ve been in jail for 18 months and the DA offers a plea deal for a crime that carries a sentence of 18 months then in a lot of cases it makes sense to just take the deal. You still get a conviction on your record, but you can at least get on with the business of rebuilding your life. 

The deal offers real benefits.

Community service instead of jail time. Records sealed or expunged after your sentence is served. A felony becomes a misdemeanor. When the DA actually offers a good deal that benefits you in real, material ways then it’s usually smart to give that deal serious consideration.

If we’ve determined that a plea bargain is your best bet then we will always try to negotiate the best possible deal.

Use your lawyer’s advise wisely.

Only you can decide whether you want to pursue a plea deal or fight harder. Your attorney will equip you with knowledge of the pros and cons, and will give you advice. You have to decide based on your own tolerance for risk and your own goals. 

Some innocent parties choose to fight and get life in prison because factual innocence sometimes has little to do with whether or not the DA can get a conviction.

The choices are not easy.

We’re here to help, and to ensure you have as many options as possible. When you work with us, you’ll at least know that your defense lawyers have explored every avenue for your acquittal before pursuing a plea deal, as opposed to other lawyers who might just try to plea you out quickly because their case load is too high.

We’re also former prosecutors who usually have excellent success at negotiating very good deals.

In trouble?

Don’t do guesswork. Get the best legal advice you can get by contacting our office today.

See also:

Wrongful Convictions in Los Angeles, CA

How Does Bail Work in Los Angeles?

Am I Eligible for a Diversion Program in Los Angeles County? 

 

When Should You Take a Plea Deal in Your Los Angeles, CA Criminal Case?

inne-rpage-seperator

It can be tough to make the choice to take a plea deal. In order to do so you must plead guilty to a crime, even if it isn’t the crime you were originally charged with committing. 

It’s never an ideal situation, yet there are times when our team will advise you to do just that. Here are the most common reasons why we tell our clients that a plea deal is their best option.

The prosecution has a strong case. 

In California, the prosecutor is required to provide your defense lawyer with certain information about the case. Some gets turned over at arraignment, some we have to request.

This information could include the 911 call, the police report, witness interviews, police detective reports, and even existing exonerating evidence. 

When this goes well, we have a pretty good sense of how strong the prosecution’s case against you might be.

In addition, we’ll try to work with you to come up with exculpatory evidence, such as witnesses who can corroborate an alibi, receipts or phone records which show you were far away from the scene of the crime, or other helpful items.

We’re not miracle workers, and if it looks like you’re legally guilty we’re usually going to suggest that you take a plea deal. Sometimes the courts are a lot harsher on defendants who take a case all the way to trial, and if your chances at trial are not good then you could just be adding a great deal of time to your eventual sentence, and spending a great deal of money, to fight a war that can’t be fought.

You’ve already served a lot of time.

While California’s pretrial release strategies usually mean that anyone accused of a non-violent crime probably doesn’t do a lot of jail time prior to trial, the landscape can look a lot different in a violent felony case. If you can’t meet bail then you could have been in jail for months, or even years, before your case gets anywhere near a trial. 

Your rights to a speedy trial don’t always keep this from happening. In Los Angeles County, 1,317 people wait in county jails for more than 3 years without being convicted or sentenced for a crime; 332 have waited longer than 5 years. Delays can come from court backlogs, from our own need for extra time to prepare, to the need to hold certain case-related hearings. 

Misdemeanor cases usually go a lot faster, but felony cases can drag on and on. 

You are, at the very least, credited for that time. So if you’ve been in jail for 18 months and the DA offers a plea deal for a crime that carries a sentence of 18 months then in a lot of cases it makes sense to just take the deal. You still get a conviction on your record, but you can at least get on with the business of rebuilding your life. 

The deal offers real benefits.

Community service instead of jail time. Records sealed or expunged after your sentence is served. A felony becomes a misdemeanor. When the DA actually offers a good deal that benefits you in real, material ways then it’s usually smart to give that deal serious consideration.

If we’ve determined that a plea bargain is your best bet then we will always try to negotiate the best possible deal.

Use your lawyer’s advise wisely.

Only you can decide whether you want to pursue a plea deal or fight harder. Your attorney will equip you with knowledge of the pros and cons, and will give you advice. You have to decide based on your own tolerance for risk and your own goals. 

Some innocent parties choose to fight and get life in prison because factual innocence sometimes has little to do with whether or not the DA can get a conviction.

The choices are not easy.

We’re here to help, and to ensure you have as many options as possible. When you work with us, you’ll at least know that your defense lawyers have explored every avenue for your acquittal before pursuing a plea deal, as opposed to other lawyers who might just try to plea you out quickly because their case load is too high.

We’re also former prosecutors who usually have excellent success at negotiating very good deals.

In trouble?

Don’t do guesswork. Get the best legal advice you can get by contacting our office today.

See also:

Wrongful Convictions in Los Angeles, CA

How Does Bail Work in Los Angeles?

Am I Eligible for a Diversion Program in Los Angeles County? 

 

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