Many of our clients ask us if it is important that they have an attorney for their first appearance in court when they have been charged with a Criminal offense. The first appearance, referred to as an arraignment, determines the outcome and process of your criminal case.
During the arraignment you are asked to make a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest. You are asked to make this plea without all the facts. You are handed your arrest report minutes before you appear before the Judge to make a plea and have several minutes to talk to the Prosecutor regarding a plea bargain. The Prosecutor is the one you discuss your case with and the one who presents you with the possible sentence if you choose to plead guilty. What most people don’t understand is that the Prosecutor is working to prosecute you for the case. Their best interest is to get the case settled, it is not to get you the best possible sentence or to get your case dismissed.
Additionally, you do not know the full background of your case and the possible defenses that may be available to you. At Hoffman and Associates we review the facts of the case and in many cases get a continuance so that we can make a thorough evaluation of the circumstances surrounding the case and the defenses so that we can provide the most powerful argument on behalf of our client.
Don’t go into court without having all the facts and a prepared defense. An experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney can contact the prosecution so that you have the arrest report and facts beforehand. They can provide you with an honest assessment of your case, as well as defenses and potential consequences so that you are fully equipped with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions. Don’t go in blindly, have a knowledgeable attorney be your guide!