Alternative Plea Agreements in California
Hiring a defense attorney experienced in both criminal trials and plea negotiations is critical to protecting your rights and seeking the best outcome possible in your case. Negotiating a plea agreement is a complex process that require a thorough knowledge and understanding of the law and the potential consequences of making a plea.
A successfully negotiated plea bargain can:
- Reduce a serious felony to a less serious charge, which can have a dramatic impact on your case. For instance, a first-degree murder charge negotiated to second-degree murder or manslaughter can offer a chance for parole.
- Reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor charge. Such a reduction can drastically reduce the possible penalties and keep a felony off your criminal record.
- Plea bargaining a strike offense to a non-strike offense can lessen the consequences of a criminal charge and keep you from accumulating a strike conviction, which can cut a prison sentence in half and help ensure you avoid a third-strike conviction, which can result in a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
- Result in reduction of a misdemeanor charge, such as DUI, to reckless operation, which carries with it fewer penalties and will prevent a subsequent DUI charge from counting as a second offense.
- Reducing a drug charge can make a defendant eligible for alternative sentencing and treatment in lieu of jail or prison time.
- Negotiating a reduction in connection with a sex offense can reduce or even eliminate sex-offender reporting requirements.
- Plea bargaining certain crimes down to less serious offenses can make a defendant eligible to seek a record expungement, which might otherwise be unavailable depending on the nature of the charge.
Proper defense of a client against criminal charges requires an attorney to possess an array of complex skills, knowledge of the law and experience handling a wide range of criminal issues.
But perhaps the most critical is the ability to thoroughly investigate a case and to determine a defendant's best course of action; sometimes that is building a case for trial and other times it is fighting for the best possible deal with the District Attorney's Office.
The defense attorneys at the Kann California Defense Group have built outstanding reputations for aggressive legal representation of clients throughout the area, including Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.
Our attorneys know many of the judges presiding over courtrooms across the region and many of the attorneys representing the District Attorney's Office. Having a solid reputation as a skilled trial attorney is not just a matter of pride, it is a matter of critical importance for clients seeking the best outcome possible for their criminal case.
An overzealous attorney may take every case to trial, thereby harming a client in instances where a more experienced defense attorney would not have taken a case within a mile of a courtroom. By the same token, an inexperienced attorney who is uncertain about defending a case at trial, will often be unable to secure the best deal possible from prosecutors who may adopt a take-it-or-leave-it attitude.
At the Kann California Defense Group, we negotiate from a position of strength by using our skills, experience and reputation to help secure the best outcome possible for each of our clients.
The District Attorneys office and judges handle thousands of criminal cases each year. Hundreds of cases can be settled in the time it takes to have a trial so they are under considerable pressure to reach a settlement agreement. Having a defense attorney capable of fighting for the best deal possible is often the best option.
But sometimes the only option is to take a case to trial to get the justice you deserve.
California Trial Attorney
Taking a case to trial is not a decision to be made lightly and not something decided at the 11th hour. Trial preparation takes months. A veteran trial lawyer will begin building a case for trial from the moment he or she takes the responsibility of representing you against a criminal charge.
Many clients do not realize that very few criminal cases result in a trial and the reasons are relatively simple: Neither side wants to settle a good case and neither side wants to take a bad case to trial. Often, the difference is in the investigative and legal skills of your lawyer and law firm.
If, after thorough investigation, your attorney decides you have a strong case, he or she will hold out for a deal too good to risk losing at trial. In the event that such a deal is not offered, a trial is your best option.
A qualified trial attorney will have conducted an independent investigation of your case; reviewed witness statements, evidence and other materials; and prepared your case for trial. Jury selection requires a thorough review and extensive questioning of jurors, where a case is often won or lost based before opening statements are ever made. And defense witnesses, experts and other professionals must be secured and scheduled to testify on your behalf.
In very serious cases, mitigating circumstance regarding a defendant's childhood and previous crimes may be presented and a detailed investigation must be conducted in order to properly prepare for trial.
Hiring a trial attorney is one of the most important decisions you will every make. We believe every defendant has the right to a skilled and experienced trial attorney and that is why we offer free and confidential appointments to anyone facing trial in Santa Clarita.
At the Kann California Defense Group, we have built our reputation on dealing thoroughly and fairly with each individual case. Our office does not take lightly the obligation of representing a defendant at trial. We have access to the investigators, expert witnesses, appellant lawyers and other professionals necessary to fight for your rights in the negotiating room … or in the courtroom.
If you are facing a criminal charge, contact our attorneys for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.