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A judge holding a gavel in front of a courtroom, symbolizing authority and the act of making legal decisions.Pursuing A Plea Offer, Dismissal, Or Trial – Essential Considerations

As a defense attorney, weighing up whether to seek a plea offer, dismissal, or trial for my clients involves several key factors.

If the prosecutor is unable to prove their case, my primary goal becomes pursuing a dismissal. This can happen by filing motions or opting for a trial. I focus on challenging the evidence and legal aspects that weaken the prosecution’s already weak case.

If the prosecution can prove their case, I consider whether there’s room for negotiating a better plea bargain. This involves assessing the terms offered by the prosecution and determining if there are opportunities to secure a more favorable resolution through negotiation.

Drawing on my experience dealing with prosecutors or prosecuting agencies over the course of my career is key in weighing these matters up. Familiarity with their tendencies and negotiation styles helps in gauging the feasibility of obtaining a more favorable plea deal.

I also evaluate my client’s risk tolerance, as some clients may prefer to avoid the uncertainty of a trial and opt for a plea deal, even if it means accepting certain consequences. Others may be more inclined to pursue a trial to exhaust all available options.

Clearly presenting my client with the potential outcomes in their criminal case is critical. This includes discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the defense, the likelihood of success, and the potential consequences of an unfavorable verdict.

What Plea Offers Look Like

Without specifics, going into the potential outcomes of an offense is a bit tricky. For instance, in a typical first-time DUI case in Los Angeles County, the specifics of the situation will determine the outcome. Generally, you’d face three years of summary probation, mandatory enrollment in an alcohol program, and a fine, usually around $2,500.

In the context of typical domestic violence cases in California, you might undergo a year of domestic violence counseling, along with a hefty fine. Additionally, you could have a restraining order issued against you, mandating you stay away from the victim for a duration of time. Drug-related offenses come with some flexibility.

Depending on the substance involved, you can possibly secure a deferred entry of judgment. This alternative route often involves going to a drug treatment facility rather than dealing with a formal conviction. For other crimes, it’s necessary to consult the relevant statutes and leverage experience with the LA County DA’s office to provide insights, given the broad spectrum of offenses.

Alternative sentencing and deferred judgments are feasible options, contingent on specific circumstances unique to your case. If you grapple with mental health issues, there are mental health diversion options. This typically involves undergoing a treatment regimen monitored by the judge. Successfully completing the treatment within defined parameters could lead to a dismissal.

Deferred judgments are also viable, depending on the nature of the crime. In this scenario, you’d plead to the charges and follow a court-mandated plan. Upon completion, the judge and prosecutor would dismiss the case. This approach provides a middle ground where you’d fulfill a sentence, similar to if you had been found and convicted as guilty, but instead, secure a dismissed case. It’s an optimal solution for many and is more attainable than you might think.

Case Resolutions

Mapping out the potential outcomes in a criminal case is fairly straightforward. Criminal cases very rarely proceed to trial. Instead, they resolve through either dismissal or plea bargains, involving reductions in charges, penalties, or both. This is just how the legal system works. Although anecdotal, I would say that around 98% of cases in criminal courts result in either a plea bargain or a dismissal.

Plea bargains play a significant role in case resolutions. These agreements can involve a reduction in charges, penalties, or both, offering a practical solution for many. A plea bargain is a common path to concluding a case, showcasing the pragmatic approach the system tends to favor. Dismissals may occur at the request of either the prosecutor or the defense attorney, with a minority of cases finding resolution through this route.

I tend to take cases to trial more often than the average criminal defense lawyer. This is because I believe there is a chance of success at trial and can show my clients the upside in trusting me to lead them in this direction. This is a strategic choice and can be an effective means of seeking a dismissal, particularly in Los Angeles County.

For more information on Potential Outcomes In A Criminal Case, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (310) 879-5616 today.

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