If you have had criminal charges filed against you, you will need to appear before the Judge of the criminal court. The first appearance is called an Arraignment. At the Arraignment you will be given the opportunity to enter a plea, or to ask for a continuance if you wish to retain counsel.
The prosecutor will also talk to you during the Arraignment and make you what is called a plea bargain. A plea bargain essentially asks that you plead guilty for a lesser than usual sentence for the charges against you. This is a chance for you to negotiation and bargain with the prosecutor. But how do you do that if you do not know the full facts, if you do not have all the evidence, and you do not know the law? This is why it is extremely important to retain a Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer.
Experienced and knowledgeable legal professionals, like those at Hoffman and Associates know when to push back, negotiation, and bargain, and when to concede and advise a guilty plea. They know what will be the best possible option for you, and will lay out all the pros and cons, so that you can make an informed decision.
Let’s walk through it step by step so that you have a better understanding of how it works. Dina has been charged with drunk and disorderly conduct, and has misdemeanor charges against her. Dina’s attorney knows that there is no evidence as to the drunk and disorderly conduct. He also knows that oftentimes the misdemeanor charge will be reduced to an infraction, which will not go on Dina’s record at all. At the arraignment, the prosecutor offers Dina’s attorney nothing more than a fine and 3 years informal probation if Dina pleads guilty. Dina’s attorney knows that the fine will be much higher for a misdemeanor than an infraction, that there will be no probation with an infraction, and her record will be clear. He is not content with the offer made by the prosecutor. He advises Dina to plead not guilty and proceed to Pre trial. Dina’s attorney does this because he knows that the Judge in the pre trial courtroom will offer the infraction, as will the prosecutor. He also knows that the misdemeanor charge is regularly reduced.
Dina proceeds to pre trial where her Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney negotiates with the prosecutor. He points out Dina’s clear record, the lack of evidence, and availability of defenses. He is prepared with arguments and evidence to contradict that of the prosecutor’s. In the end, prosecutors offer Dina an infraction charge if she pleads guilty.
If you do not have a DUI professional on your team, it would be difficult to anticipate what offers may be made at pretrial. You may believe that the first offer, with just a fine and probation sounds good and agree, when in fact, that was not the case. This is the benefit of a legal professional guiding you through the process. They understand the system, and know the characters involved with your case. This ensures the best possible outcome for you!