Schwartz & Powell

PLEA BARGAINING: REPRESENTATION RIGHTS

by Steven D. Powell Attorney at Law

 

constitutionVentura County criminal defense lawyers with any substantial experience realize, when the proof is there, a defendant should know about and consider plea bargaining. Not every criminal charge should go to trial. Criminal defendants who really did it should in many serious cases own and buy their responsibility by accepting plea bargains minimizing their penal consequences which could extend to decades if not lifetimes of imprisonment.   

This holds true also for defendants who believe they are not guilty of a serious crime against which they must defend.  Notwithstanding their factual innocence, they should be represented by the best lawyers who know what their probability of their conviction is.  If the probability is palpable, the defense lawyer should seek out an offer to plea bargain and advise his or her client about the chances of conviction and any offer of compromise.

The simple fact is that innocent people can be convicted and they must consider that fact and the potential penalties in deciding whether to make a less oppressive deal short of trial.  

Clients routinely ask their lawyers what they should do in response to criminal charges, trial or plea bargaining, and all too often the lawyer hasn’t talked to the prosecution about a deal or, worse yet, the lawyer fails to even recognize that his client is dead bang in the prosecutor’s sights and should be looking for a deal.  This is usually the result of the lawyer’s inexperience, inattention and ineptitude.

It requires professional diligence and courage to advise a client to take a deal after carefully reviewing the evidence, assessing the likelihood of conviction and balancing the potential consequence of pre-trial penalties as opposed to post-trial penalties. 

At Schwartz & Powell, we have the experience to recognize triable cases and the skill, training and talent to adjudicate these cases at trial.  But we also have the sense to know when the prosecution may have the better part of the case.  When the prosecution can convict a client, it would be foolish not to explore disposition for that client’s best possible deal.  The client of course must always make the case dispositive decision  to plead or go to trial but before he or she does so the lawyer has an obligation to counsel and advise the client.  And how can the lawyer do so unless prepared, informed and experienced?

If you or a loved one face any criminal charges, call us at Schwartz & Powell.  As one of the best legal defense teams in Ventura County, we recognize and respect our clients’ Constitutional right to effective representation at every stage of the criminal proceedings.

Remember, in the defense of any criminal matter 

Experience Matters.

Schwartz & Powell