A Fresno Criminal Attorney Explains How to Improve your Chances for a Good Plea Deal
Feb 20, 2019
Being charged with a crime is a serious matter because the outcome can possibly alter your life permanently. That is all the more reason you need an experienced attorney when you are guilty of the charges. There are things you can do to help yourself, and will give your attorney something to work with in court when your case is decided.
Many criminal cases end with a structured settlement agreement or “plea deal.” The goal of this strategy is to put you in the best possible light. We want the judge, DA, and probation department to see you are being proactive and taking full responsibility for your actions so this mistake will never happen again.
First, let's look at what the judge will ponder when reviewing your case. Here are 5 points the judge will consider:
- Is the defendant gainfully employed and able to pay any fines imposed?
- Does the defendant demonstrate responsible behavior in other areas of his life?
- Is there a willingness to correct the mistake?
- How likely will this happen again?
- Is the defendant willing to take responsibility of his actions?
Every case is different, but here are a few ideas that will get the right point across, and could keep you out of jail or even lower the charges against you:
- Get a job if unemployed. If employed, get a character reference(s) from your employer, co-workers, and customers.
- Get letters on your behalf from friends, family members, neighbors, your pastor, etc., the more the better.
- Seek counseling related to your charges. Attend AA or NA if alcohol or drugs are involved, or enroll in treatment if necessary. If there are anger issues, attend a 12 week anger management program.
- Enroll in continuing education or college and work towards a certificate or even a degree. If you are already enrolled in school, do not drop out !!, keep going. Judge’s and DA’s respect people who are trudging forward with making their lives better despite the difficult situation.
- Get involved with community activities. Join a group, church, or volunteer your time.
- Have Friends or Family members appear at sentencing to speak on your behalf. Nothing is better than having a few people show up in person and express how much you contribute to their lives and how this event was out of the ordinary.
Discuss anything you do with your attorney first, and keep in mind these are only suggestions and not legal advice. For appropriate advice for your individual case, contact us immediately once charged. We will examine your case and discuss your options. We will do everything for the best possible outcome and to ensure your rights are protected.
Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.