Plea Agreements

Plea agreements and Plea bargaining by Vincent Rivera, criminal defense attorney

A vast majority of cases end up pleaing out.

When I receive a plea offer I always ask myself two questions:

  1. What are we getting?

Are they dismissing charges?

Are they agreeing to a below guideline sentence?

The second question I ask is

2. Can we do better on our own?

Now that's a far more difficult question because what that question involves:

What is the likelihood of your legal defenses winning and/or the likelihood of your factual defense winning a trial?

I'll let you in on a little secret most attorneys are gonna get the exact same plea offer at the beginning of the case

Whether you have a court-appointed public defender or you've dropped thousands of dollars on an attorney.

So why do you need a trial attorney?

Why do you need an experienced litigator? If you're just gonna plea the case out.

Well, do you have an attorney that's capable of taking something past the initial round of plea negotiations?

That's why you need an experienced litigator because when plea negotiations break down we have to fall back to fighting the case.

We have to fall back to filing motions to suppress. We have to fall back to filing motions to dismiss.

We ultimately have to start teeing it up for trial and even down the line we're trying to set it up for appeal.

The idea is is that even if you do want to plea out by doing these things this sometimes is enough to get us the plea offer that you're happy with.