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Plea Bargaining

Plea bargaining consists of two types: sentence bargaining and charge bargaining. In exchange for a plea of guilty or no contest by the defendant, the prosecutor may recommend a lighter sentence or may drop charges to a less serious offense.

95% of all cases end in a plea-bargain. Plea-bargaining is an excellent way to avoid a potential stiff conviction in favor of an agreed upon lighter conviction. For instance, in a drug possession case, a judge may be convinced to dismiss the charges in return for the defendant's successful completion of a rehabilitation program. Some judges and prosecutors are amenable to plea-bargaining, whereas others are not. Plea bargaining enables the judges to move cases through the legal process, and prosecutors to rack up convictions.

8 things to consider when considering a plea bargain:

  1. A judge-approved guilty or no contest plea bargain may result in a criminal conviction.
  2. The conviction will show up on your criminal record. 
  3. The defendant may lose rights and privileges as if the defendant were convicted after trial. For example, a convicted felon loses his 2nd Amendment Right to possess a firearm FOR LIFE! 
  4. A plea bargain conviction may result in immigration consequences such as deportation and exclusion from re-admission to the USA for illegal aliens and LPR's (Lawful Permanent Residents).
  5. A no contest plea has the same force and effect of a guilty plea, the only difference is that it cannot be used against you in a civil proceeding arising out of the same circumstances as those of the criminal charge.
  6. A guilty plea serves as an admission of guilt. 
  7. A plea bargain may result in a lighter sentence and completes the matter quickly.
  8. Probation, and the costs associated, will likely be imposed. Again, keep in mind the immigration and non-immigration consequences associated with a plea and conviction. For example, one who is applying for citizenship or even a position in a law enforcement capacity, will not be able to do so if on probation. 

To find out more information about these topics, please call us direct at 323-467-6400

Law Offices of Jeff Voll
3460 Wilshire Blvd #410
Los Angeles, CA 90010
323-467-6400
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