Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Reaching a Plea Bargain

Posted on: November 23, 2009 at 6:22 p.m.

If you've been arrested for, or charged with, a crime, you need a qualified Los Angeles criminal defense attorney who knows how to defend you, how to operate during a trial and possible how to please bargain successfully.

Former NBA star Jayson Williams is expected to reach a plea bargain deal on Friday November 20, 2009 for a case stemming from a 2002 incident that resulted in the accidental shooting death of a limousine driver at his home. The case has dragged on for nearly eight years and the plea bargain would effectively reduce the initial aggravated manslaughter and reckless manslaughter counts to a count of aggravated assault. The plea bargain will reduce Williams’ jail sentence to no less than 18 months and no more than three years.

Plea bargains are agreements in criminal cases where the prosecutor offers the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge or to the original charge with a recommendation of a lighter sentence. A plea bargain can also reduce the severity of charges in a criminal case, for example, a felony hit and run charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor charge if a plea bargain is reached. Reaching a plea bargain requires a professional defense attorney that will negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf to attain a favorable outcome.

The Williams case is one out of countless of cases that occur each day where a plea bargain is negotiated or reached. Every day, defendants are offered plea bargains and agree to these bargains for a reduced sentence. With the assistance of a defense lawyer, a defendant could get a plea bargain that helps them stay clear of prison and even serious fines. In Los Angeles, these instances are concurrent and can happen to anyone. A professional attorney can help sort out your legal troubles through negotiation and plea bargains. With a dedicated team of attorneys you can be given opportunities to reduce a jail sentence or avoid jail time altogether. The criminal defense lawyers team at Kestenbaum, Eisner & Gorin, LLP can assist you in reaching a plea bargain in criminal cases and potentially reduce your criminal charge to a lesser charge.

The former Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets player faced a trial on a reckless manslaughter count where the jury deadlocked, he was to face a retrial in January. The plea bargain will essentially resolve all charges in the case and reduce the charge to aggravated assault. Through the plea bargain, Williams will avoid a longer jail sentence and heftier charges.

When you need to reach a plea bargain but don’t know where to start, contact us and we will work by your side to reach that plea bargain you seek.

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Alyssa Chen (UCLA) on December 14, 2009 at 3:05 a.m. wrote:

Although some people view plea bargains are a negative, this case of Jayson Williams shows that the plea bargains act as a vital part of the justice system in the United States. Not only would Jayson Williams have avoided eight years worth of legal expenses, but he would have also saved the government valuable tax dollars. If a case is going to a plea bargain, why wait eight years? Even though taking a plea bargain does mean admitting guilt, it saves everyone valuable time and money. Furthermore, hopefully if someone is not guilty, they will stick it out for a trial. Although some people who are not guilt take a plea bargain, and in these cases the justice system has failed, in general plea bargains are key to the justice system. Without it, our system would be more much expensive and time consuming.

Vincent Palladino (UCLA) on December 9, 2009 at 1:27 a.m. wrote:

I recently learned that about 95 percent of all felony convictions in the United States are the result of plea bargains. The standard argument in favor of plea bargaining is that pleading guilty instead of going to trial reduces uncertainty as to the outcome of a trial. In trying a case before a judge or before a jury of 12 people, the defendant cannot predict what ultimately will happen. Plea bargains are also perceived as offering the accused a freedom of choice. And, from the state's point of view, the main benefit of the plea bargain is that it saves time and money. Several downsides of plea bargaining also exist. For the defense, the accused is giving up the right to have 12 people hear all the evidence and test the prosecution's evidence against the defendant. For the community, it doesn't get to have a process which attempts to get at the truth of what really happened in the case. The plea bargaining system can be abused: It can extract guilty pleas from absolutely innocent people who plead guilty to charges they did not commit because they can't afford the risk of going to trial.

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