What To Give To The Prosecutor In A Criminal Case In Los Angeles During Negotiations?
A lot of my clients realize that they’re probably going to end up with some sort of a conviction related to their criminal case because the prosecutors have evidence – whether it be witnesses, video evidence, or some other form of evidence against them. The question becomes what are they going to have to plead to and what are going to be the terms of any probation or any sentence that they get. Part of that has to do with negotiation. So, this issue comes up all the time of what can the client and the attorney gives the prosecutors prior to any negotiation?
A lot of times, if I’m going to negotiate a serious case, what I like to do is set up a meeting with the prosecutors face-to-face and then right before the meeting, I will send a mitigation package or letter. Basically, what it is the highlighted key areas that I want them to focus on from a defense standpoint and I put it in letter form. Obviously, I attach whatever other information I think is appropriate related to the mitigating circumstances surrounding a criminal case in Los Angeles that my client is charged with. So, I’ll attach character letters. Sometimes I’ll get a report from an expert – whether it be a medical expert or some sort of a psychiatric report – depending on what type of case it is and what the circumstances of the case are.
Once I give the prosecutors whatever it is I’m going to give them, sometimes I’ll also ask the client to give me some things – again, depending upon what type of a criminal case it is and what mitigating stuff we’ve got that can help us convince the prosecutors to give the client what they want – both charge-wise and sentence-wise. Those same things can also be used when making an argument to the judge for a sentence. The same things you give the prosecutors, a lot of time I’ll give that same thing to the judge if I’m going to argue to the judge to get a particular sentence that I deem is appropriate under the circumstances of the case.
Once I give them a thumbnail sketch of the mitigating circumstances, now when I go into the meeting, I’m not reinventing the wheel as far as negotiation goes for a criminal case in Los Angeles. I’ve now set the foundation and stage to go in there and hit them with my best argument and now I am really going to key in on the most important points that give my client the best chance to get the best charge and the best sentence. Now, I’m going to expand upon the strongest points that the defense has in a criminal case, mitigation-wise, in trying to resolve this matter.
If you don’t do this beforehand, what ends up happening is, you’re going to go into some long-rambling speech. He prosecutor is not going to want to listen to all that. They don’t have the time to listen to is, so you’ve got to set the stage by putting the key crucial points out and then going in there and giving them your best stuff face-to-face when you can really convince them of whatever your position is.
You also have to read your audience and know what type of prosecutors you’re talking about. In other words, what type of information might move them in the case? Who is this prosecutor? What’s their attitude? How do they feel about the case? I try to get my clues from the prosecutor who is in charge of it as to what their boss might be thinking before I go in there and actually negotiate with them to try to resolve this criminal case. Once I’ve got my clues, now I’m going to go in there ready to diffuse whatever arguments they have and highlight the best arguments that we have so we can end up with the best result in this criminal case because typically in these negotiations when you’re sitting down and talking about the case.
You’re going to get one shot at it. These guys are busy. They don’t have the time to keep messing around with the case. They’re civil service employees. You have to go in there with your strongest, best foot forward, have all your information available to you when you go there and obviously, it’s up to the criminal defense attorney to get that argument across that you need to be gotten across to meet the prosecutor as far as what they’re concerned about and show them that they don’t need to be concerned as it relates to your client. We can show them exactly why they don’t need to be concerned about that and then put your strongest argument forward so you can get the best possible resolution in negotiating the situation for your criminal defendant.
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