If you're a fan of crime dramas, something you may have seen in the past is the use of a plea deal. Plea bargaining is a technique used often in the American criminal justice system.
You had some alcohol with dinner, but you never expected to have enough to get a DWI if you got pulled over. You took a breath test at the request of the police, and it came back over .08. You don't believe it's accurate, because you only had two drinks. How could that happen?
If you're facing criminal charges, you have a few options available to you. You and your attorney can fight the charges, you can throw yourself at the mercy of the court or, if you're offered a plea bargain, you can accept it. A plea bargain is an agreement between you and the prosecutor; you agree to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser charge or a more lenient sentence.
There's no denying it: domestic violence is a real problem in the country and, indeed, the world. Many women and children (as well as men) are the victims of abuse every day and they deserve to be advocated for and helped in every way possible. In this state, domestic violence charges are often pursued to the full extent of the law. This is because of the nature of the crime but also the fact that prosecutors don't want to seem weak on matters like domestic abuse.
Everyone has seen perps arrested for aggravated assault on TV cop shows or read headlines about so-and-so being charged with assault. Most of us have a general understanding of these terms but there's still confusion about the difference between them in legal terms. This is important information to understand as it can mean the difference between simple fines or time in jail.
A conviction or an arrest can follow you for a long time, hindering your ability to get a job, apply for aid and get credit. Getting an expungement can remove that annoyance from your life but how do you know if you're eligible and how do you go about doing it?
One of the principles on which our justice system stands is the idea that every person is innocent until proven guilty and has access to competent legal representation. That means when you're accused of a crime and don't have the money to hire an attorney, you'll be assigned a public defender. According to a new lawsuit, however, the poorest people in our state aren't getting the defense they deserve.
The United States law has divided criminal charges into different types in order to make sure people face sentencing according to their crimes. A misdemeanor is one of these charges, and it is less serious than a felony, but more serious than an infraction. Misdemeanors have been divided into three major parts; petty misdemeanors, ordinary misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors. Petty misdemeanors are minor cases, while gross misdemeanors are relatively serious and might result in jail time as well.
Criminal activity can be divided into different classes depending upon the severity of the act. Felonies are the most serious class of criminal offense in the United States. Although some states have further classified felonies into different groups, it is widely acceptable that a felony charge is the most heinous. The punishment for a felony depends on the crime committed, but could range from hefty fines to life imprisonment and even a death sentence.
Some criminal cases are resolved way before proceedings even begin. You might be asked to plead guilty in exchange for a good deal and a lenient sentence; this is called a plea bargain. The defendant has the right to refuse the plea agreement and go to trial. Plea agreements allow cases to be resolved sooner and with ease. Prosecutors often prefer to resolve cases in this way, asking you to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a more lenient sentence.