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Court Pleas

I have spent lots of time discussing plea negotiations on this blog.  That's because most criminal cases are resolved by plea.

A good criminal defense attorney knows how to negotiate from a position of power.  That's because a criminal lawyer can review a case and exploit the weaknesses, or in the alternative, use their client's positive traits to offset the allegations.

In other words, if the client has no prior record, is exceptionally young, or is in school, I may be able to use those facts to my client's advantage in obtaining a favorable plea.

However, prosecutors are not always willing to give an accused person what they want.  Sometimes, you must get the judge involved in plea negotiations.

The Court may offer a plea if the client is not facing a mandatory minimum sentence or scores "non-state prison" on their Florida Criminal Punishment Code guidelines.

If the accused is asking the Court to make an offer below guidelines, that is known as a downward departure. That is a more complex scenario.

A Court plea just involves asking the judge to get involved in plea negotiations.

Every judge is different. A judge is also not obligated to make a better offer than that being conveyed by the prosecutor.

And if it's a serious case or violent felony charge, the judge is unlikely to make a plea offer.

Court pleas are best for misdemeanors and non-violent 3rd degree felonies.

And remember - the client is likely to get a better offer from the Court if they have no prior record.

A good Court plea is not luck. You need a persuasive attorney with knowledge of the charges and the accused person. Additionally, the attorney should have a good relationship with the judge.

I represent clients in Miami-Dade and Broward. Call me to discuss your case.