Over 90 percent of criminal cases prosecuted in the New York, on both the state and federal levels, never end up in trials. Plea agreement are entered into that dispose of a criminal case short of a trial.
Because of the extreme importance of the plea bargaining process in the criminal justice system, people charged with a crime needs legal representation from plea bargaining lawyers. By this it is meant that a criminal defendant must be represented by an attorney with solid experience in the plea bargaining process.
Pre-Indictment, Pre-Charge Negotiation
The reality is that the plea bargaining process can begin even in advance of the handing down of an indictment or a person being formally charged with a crime. In some situations, a person is subjected to a more prolonged investigation before an indictment or charge occurs.
The bottom line is that a person who knows he or she is being investigated by law enforcement agents is best served by retaining legal representation in truly active manner. Having a criminal defense attorney on board during the investigatory phase of a case provides a suspect a much needed buffer with investigatory personal and law enforcement. His or her rights and interests are best preserved in the midst of a criminal investigation.
When it comes to a pre-indictment or pre-charge negotiation process, counsel for the suspect is the individual that needs to reach out to the prosecutor’s office. A layperson being investigated for a crime simply is not in a positon to take this type of step effectively, if really at all.
Negotiation for a Plea Agreement following Indictment or Charge
Negotiating a meaningful plea agreement in a case demands that a New York criminal defense attorney have sufficient experience. To state that a great deal is at risk in hammering out a plea agreement that truly benefits a person charged with a crime epitomizes the concept of understatement.
Not only does a New York criminal defense attorney need to understand the underlying law, and the unique facts and circumstances of a case, he or she must have the skills necessary to appropriate stand the ground with a prosecuting attorney. He or she must be able to protect legal rights and interests through adept negotiations.
How to Retain Plea Bargaining Lawyers
The first step in retaining the services of New York plea bargaining lawyers is scheduling an initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney. As a general rule, a New York criminal defense attorney does not charge a fee for an initial consultation.
At a preliminary appointment about a criminal case, an attorney will provide a general evaluation of the matter. A person facing criminal prosecution has the opportunity to respond to any questions he or she might have regarding a case, including the ins and outs of negotiating a plea agreement.
Specific Information About Plea Agreement Negotiations
A considerable amount of discussion with a plea bargaining lawyer will focus on the prospect of reaching a settled or negotiated plea agreement with the prosecutor, whether that be on the state or federal level. Considerations to bear in mind when contemplating entering into a plea agreement include a defendant’s own perceptions regarding his or her guilt as to the charges being leveled in a particular case.
A primary consideration in the negotiation of a plea agreement also includes working to obtain some kind of commitment regarding sentencing. In the final analysis, two elements more than anything else motivate a person charged with a crime to try and broker a plea agreement.
First, a defendant strives to have some charges dismissed or reduced. Second, a person charged with a crime strives for the least penalty possible at the time of sentencing. More often than not, the focus is on reducing or eliminating a term of incarceration.
Keep in mind that it is crucial that a plea agreement be placed in writing. A capable attorney understands the importance of a plea agreement place in writing. Unfortunately, not all criminal defense attorneys do not have outstanding plea negotiation techniques.
Finally, a person charged with a crime needs to understand that any sentencing commitment made by the prosecutor in a criminal case is not in concrete. The judge presiding over a criminal case is the individual who makes the final decision regarding sentencing issues.