In a criminal case, both respective parties convene and discuss a possible agreement to resolve the matter. Prosecutors file the claim and, realistically, it can only be filed against you in a few ways.
At this point, the prosecutors may have made a mistake or become confused. Your attorney could convince the prosecutors that they made a mistake, the filing deputy didn’t look at the case, didn’t have all the facts, or had some incorrect facts, convincing them to dismiss the case outright.
Usually, it will not happen because they typically have gone through the case thoroughly.
Another way is to go to jury trial and be found not guilty, so the matter is settled. You could also go to trial and lose, in which case the judge will sentence you, resolving the case.
The final way would be to enter into a plea bargain with the prosecutors. In the plea bargain case:
- I will discuss with my client to either plead guilty or no contest because the evidence against them is clear;
- We will discuss what deal to make with the prosecutors in terms of appropriate sentencing;
- It will be my job to use my experience to take into account the evidence being presented.
I can also bring any other mitigating factors to the prosecutor’s attention to convince them to give them what my client wants.
Not every DUI case goes to trial because thousands of DUI lawsuits are filed every year in Los Angeles County, and the courts would be overrun. I would say better than 95% of them are handled by way of a plea bargain.
If I Accept A Plea Bargain, Does That Mean I’m Forfeiting Any Right To A Future Appeal?
If you enter into a plea with the prosecutor, you typically will not be allowed to appeal since you agreed to the terms.
You will fill out a waiver form giving up your constitutional rights in favor of the plea deal, which will be taken on the record.
Unless some of your rights are violated during the case, you will not usually have grounds for appeal.
An issue arises when a non-citizen gets into a DUI case. Their immigration attorney will tell them to go back into court and reverse the plea somehow.
They come up with all sorts of reasons they didn’t understand what was said to them or certain things were left out of what they were told.
In these cases, people may file to withdraw their appeal, but those cases are difficult to win.
Increase In Plea Deals Now Under The New DA In Los Angeles County
I think that regardless of how harsh or lenient the DA is, there’s going to have to be plea deals to resolve some of the cases presented. In the vast majority of the cases:
- the individual arrested is guilty and will have to work out a plea deal;
- if they go to trial, they’re going to lose;
- get convicted on every charge, and;
- receive the worst possible sentences.
Most will be resolved by way of a plea deal. Some of these cases will be determined more simply because the prosecutor’s new policy will be more lenient.
Additionally, the pandemic has caused a backup of cases awaiting jury trials. In many cases, the person has been arrested, but no lawsuit has been filed due to the pandemic.
There’s a whole host of issues that the courts and prosecutors are about to have to deal with, and I think the combination of the DA’s more lenient policies and the pandemic will resolve many of them.
I have several severe cases that I believe will be resolved because of just where we stand in today’s climate, political state, health, and the court system.
Can You Get A Lesser Charge Before Charges Are Even Filed?
It is possible, but it’s challenging to get the prosecutors to talk to you before the case is filed at the state level.
It would have to be a severe case where the prosecutors are involved in the filing decision and the investigation.
It’s much more probable at a federal level that they would allow you to work out a resolution before the case is even indicted in the federal court.
However, at the state level, the filing deputies are responsible for filing many cases. If they had to deal with defense attorneys, they wouldn’t do their job effectively.
It would take too long, and they have too many cases coming across their desk, so they are usually fairly insolated.
The best you can often do is send them a letter with your client’s position and any mitigating factors that may convince them either not to file the case altogether or to file lesser charges.
Criminal Defense for California Crimes
The best course of action is to hire an attorney early if you know you are being investigated or charges will be filed.
Your attorney will be able to do certain things while the case is being investigated and while they’re deciding whether or not to file the case that you would be unable to do if preparing to defend yourself.
It is crucial that you have an attorney right away if you want to get the best results.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436.
We serve people is all Southern California courts, including LA County, Orange County, Ventura County, Hollywood, Riverside, and San Bernardino.
Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0940.