Gainesville Personal Injury, Divorce and Alimony Attorney

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235 South Main Street Suite W203 Gainesville, FL 32601

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Settling Criminal Cases – Open Plea & the Mercy of the Court

In criminal cases, it is not uncommon for people to call the office after their current lawyer has failed to reach an acceptable agreement with the prosecutors or the caller does not like the offer received. Sometimes, the unfortunate circumstance of the case is that the prosecutor will not make a deal. Sometimes just having a lawyer who answers to the Defendant for their paycheck instead of the government makes a big difference to the Defendant. Sometimes there are things that can be done to present the case in a better light.

There are only three options when resolving any kind of case (1) the party who brings the lawsuit can drop the case. In criminal cases, the ‘lawsuit’ is the filing of criminal charges by Information or the filing of a criminal traffic ticket. (2) The case can be settled. In criminal cases, the settlement is done through a plea agreement. If the case is not dropped or settled then, (3) proceed to trial.

A defendant who has failed to come to a reasonable plea agreement with the State can ask to Court to hold a sentencing hearing. This is a called an ‘open plea’. An open plea is more commonly called “throwing yourself at the mercy of the Court”. But there is more to it than just walking in and looking pretty. The sentencing hearing can be a lot like a trial without the jury. The defense and prosecution enter evidence and make their arguments to the Court. The scary part is that the court may hand out a sentence harsher than the State was offering. The Court may not see things the same way as the Defendant.

Criminal defense lawyers are obligated to communicate all plea offers whether they like it or not. How they communicate makes a difference. To hire a private lawyer to help settle the case, have a sentencing hearing or proceed to trial, please click, call or fill out the form.

Gainesville (352) 371-9141

Ocala (352) 694-4529