Law Office of Michael L. Fell
900 Roosevelt Irvine, CA 92620
(949) 585-9055

Are You Counting on a Plea Bargain? Learn Why It Might Not Be Accepted in California Courts When someone is charged with a crime and there is substantial evidence to support their guilt, they may believe they can negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution. Sadly, this is not always the case. There are several offenses in the state of California that cannot be resolved with a plea agreement.

Continue reading to find out what they are, then call Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation with a qualified attorney if you need one.

Everything occurred in 1982

In 1982, several people held the opinion that plea deals should not be permitted because violent offenders were receiving what they saw to be excessively light terms. The passage of Proposition 8 forbids plea deals in some circumstances, including DUI involving alcohol or drugs, some felonies (including those involving a gun), and violent sex crimes.

Prop 8 continued by stating that plea deals in those circumstances could only be accepted if the prosecution lacked sufficient evidence to convict the defendant, was unable to obtain the testimony of a crucial witness, or if the reduction or dismissal of a particular charge did not significantly affect the overall sentence.

There are ways to circumvent these laws

If you've ever had a friend who was charged with a DUI or one of the other charges mentioned above, you could be perplexed because they might have accepted a plea deal. How is that even doable? Simple: There is a huge gap in the system. A grand jury investigation, the defendant's preliminary hearing, and some stages of the arrest and prosecution procedure, such as those following the defendant's arraignment, are exempt from the statute.

These are actually the situations where a prosecution and defendant are most likely to reach a plea agreement, as the perceptive lawyer may have noticed.

Plea bargains: are they always a good choice?

Undoubtedly, a plea deal would not be a wise choice if the defendant is completely innocent and had an alibi as well as other supporting documentation. However, even if there is proof that a person is guilty, it does not follow that they must accept a plea deal.

Keep in mind that the prosecution's goal is to establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They might be able to show that you most likely committed the crime, but if there are any gaps in their tale, no matter how tiny, it might be enough to disprove the accusation in court. Similarly, if there was police wrongdoing, certain evidence might not be admissible, and the charges might be withdrawn.

We suggest getting in touch with Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation if you're interested in learning a criminal defense lawyer's assessment of your particular case.