This is a big decision. For some people, it's very easy because they are innocent and they know they're going to fight the case and take it to a jury trial.
Of course, the flip side is true. Some people know they did something wrong. They know they're going to have to plea bargain. They just want to make sure they get the best resolution and try to protect as many of their rights as possible.
Prosecutors Over-File Criminal Cases
Obviously, hiring a great attorney to help you negotiate the plea bargain is critical when it comes to these types of situations in criminal defense.
I've been practicing criminal defense for the past 26 years and making this decision on whether to fight or plea bargain is sometimes not an easy. Because what ends up happening is, the prosecutors will over-file the case and charge somebody with a bunch of charges that they really shouldn't have to plead guilty to.
Now, that puts them in a difficult position. They think, well, I did something wrong, but I'm not going to plead guilty to that, or I did something wrong and I don't think I should have to swallow a criminal case on my record. Why can't they just warn me? Why do they have to make me plead guilty?
Close Review of the Criminal Case and Prosecutor's Evidence
So, obviously, with a thousand different crimes and a thousand different scenarios, in a post like this I can't give you all the answers. I think the key thing is, it has to be handled in a step-by-step manner:
- First, you have to sit down with an attorney — somebody like me who has a lot of experience;
- We have to talk about exactly what happened in your scenario;
- We have to see what you're either being investigated for or charged with;
- Then we can look at what the elements are;
- What the law is related to that and see what facts the prosecutors will be able to show;
- Based on the police report and whatever information they're given by witnesses.
We will also look at the police department who investigates the case and then we have to mix in your version of events, what you have to say about it. Maybe there's some investigation and information on your side that can be done that can make a big difference in your case.
Deciding Best Defense Strategy for Most Favorable Outcome
So, once we put all of these things together, then we can sit sown and we can really hash out what the best way to handle the case is.
What I like to do when I get on a case is, I get my client's version of events, but I also read through the discovery and see what issues are involved, what information the police have and what the prosecutors are likely to argue.
Then I think the last piece of the puzzle for me, in addition to using my experience and know-how, having traveled this path before, is, if there are issues in the case, I'm going to challenge the prosecutor with those issues.
Negotiating With The Prosecutor
I will go right to them and say, listen. I see a problem here. How are you going to get around this problem? And trust me, the prosecutors are lawyers and they've got big mouths. They're going to be ready to respond back.
With that response, now I can go to my client and say, here's what they're going to argue. Here's what we're going to argue. Here's what my experience tells me is likely to happen.
Here's where the battle lines are going to be drawn in your case and then we'll be in a position to really think about it and talk about what issues there are.
The pros and cons of fighting the case and, again, I've done this a lot. I've handled thousands of cases. We're usually able to come to a resolution and decide, okay, here's our roadmap. Here's what we're going to do.
For example, we're going to fight the case. We have to do this investigation. We need to get this information together. We need to prepare you in this way so that you're ready to testify in the case, whatever the case may be. We put the plan into action and we're ready to deal with the case.
So, if you need hep — you've got a criminal case and are looking for the best attorney, you've come to the right place. Pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.