Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
1) You should hire your own attorney. Public defenders are good lawyers but are overworked and you may not receive the individual attention you need for this deal.
2) Let's not use the term "pay off"... this implies a bribery issue that could greatly increase your criminal exposure. Certainly it is good to pay restitution to the "victims" before your court date but you should do so through your attorney to prevent this good faith action from becoming either an illegal payoff or an admission of guilt.
Please reply if I can help further.
Yes it would be considered a crime. Some jurisdictions refer to it as bribery and some use the phrase compounding a felony. Either way it is a bad idea. I completely understand you desire to keep this out of the system, but you are treading on thin ice here. If you wish to offer some form of settlement, make sure you do so through a lawyer to prevent exposing yourself to further criminal liability. You are correct that the decision making is in the state's hands now.... therefore any settlement offer your attorney tenders should be with the state's approval.