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Trial vs Plea Bargain in a Domestic Violence Case


This is always one of the biggest questions on my clients’ minds when they’re charged with a domestic violence case in Los Angeles county.  They want to know if they should take the case to trial or whether or not they should try to enter into some sort of negotiated plea or deal with the prosecutors.

This is not always an easy decision because obviously, if they enter into a deal, there’s going to be certain ramifications that flow from that deal — certain consequences.  And if they don’t enter into a deal and they fight the case at trial, then there can also be certain consequences that flow from that as well.

To give readers some useful information on taking a Los Angeles domestic violence case to trial or whether to work out a plea bargain, our California criminal defense lawyers are providing an overview below.

Prosecutors Evidence in Domestic Violence Cases

Sometimes clients get a little confused and say, I don’t want to go to trial but I’m also innocent.  That’s usually going to be a problem in a domestic violence case if the prosecutors have made a decision to file the case.Trial vs Plea Bargain in a Los Angeles Domestic Violence Case

Because if the case is filed, then the prosecutors usually believe that they have a good case.  Domestic violence is a very political crime.  So, if they think they have evidence that a person committed a crime, they’re not just going to get rid of the case.  They’re going to pursue it.

If you think you’re innocent, then you’re going to need to take the case to trial, but if they’ve got evidence that you battered your significant other or committed a domestic violence-related offense, you’re going to get convicted and you’re going to end up with a much worse penalty than if you would have just worked out some sort of deal with the prosecutors.

The most common charges are domestic battery under California Penal Code 243(e)(1) and corporal injury to a spouse under California Penal Code 273.5.

Reviewing Domestic Violence Strategy with Criminal Lawyer

So, making this decision and trying to figure this out is obviously very important and it’s not always the easiest decision for a person to make.  A lot of times your best move is to sit down with a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with domestic violence-related offenses and can help you make the decision of whether or not you take a deal or take the case to trial.

If you do decide that it’s in your best interest to take a deal on the case, of course the next question is, what type of a deal do you take?  What are going to be the consequences?

Whether you’re going to have to plead guilty or no contest to?  How is it going to impact you down the road?  So, even when you make the decision that it’s probably best for you to take a deal, the work is not done.  There’s still a lot that goes into it.

Obviously, nobody wants to go to jail, so a lot of people are very concerned about that.  Getting a felony versus a misdemeanor is another big concern in domestic violence cases.

If there’s a protective order put in place against you where you can’t see your family or you can’t see your wife or significant other, is another big concern for people.  You’re blocked from talking to them.

These are all things that you really need to sit down with a good seasoned domestic violence defense attorney and give them your version of events.  Let him look at the evidence in the case.  Let him see what witnesses have made statements against you, including the other side.

See if there’s a 9-1-1 tape.  See if there’s any bodycam evidence and then you can dig in to make a decision whether this is a situation where you need to take a deal or whether this is a situation where you should fight the case, hire the best attorney you can and let them take the case to jury trial and try to get a not guilty verdict with a jury of your peers.

Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 374-3952.

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Ronald D. Hedding, ESQ.

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