Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
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What are the specifics of the plea agreement?
There are not specifics yet...my pre-trial is in a week.
Well, a plea "deal" is what you get in return for pleading guilty. You should not actually plead guilty unless you know what the prosecutor is willing to settle for.
Prosecutors will generally "recommend" a sentence for the criminal in question.
(accused, that is)
The judge will almost always go with the recommendation, so it's important to know what the prosecutors will recommend. There is NO benefit to pleading without knowing what you will get in return.
Now the prosecutors will want to know that your girlfriend is not pressing charges.
Furthermore, if she is not wanting to press charges, that will generally implicate their willingness and desire to take this case all the way to its conclusion.
An interesting note: if you're willing to marry her, the spousal immunity privilege (where she cannot be compelled to testify against you) can attach to actions taken even before marriage. So if she doesn't want to testify, you can get married, and she cannot be compelled to testify. But this is her privilege, not yours, and she can waive it if she wants (even if married).
If she doesn't want to testify, there's probably not enough evidence against you (assuming you didn't confess to the police, etc...)
The best thing to do is to contact the prosecutor and offer to plead for deferred adjudication (if possible) or probation to a lesser offense. You would rather not have this on your record, and deferred adjudication would be the best way to get this if you don't want to marry your girlfriend and have her invoke the spousal testimony.
As to attorneys, they vary significantly. The key is to get one who has practiced for a while, but the downside of experience is that experienced lawyers will cost more.
You can expect a case like this to cost $3,000-$10,000, depending if you go to trial or not.
Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. If you have already clicked "accept", or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Thank you, and again, good luck to you!
What if in the police report the victim stated that I assulted them? I they cant haver he testify (if i get married), but can they can still use the police report I assume. How much weight does this have in court as opposed to her testimony? Could I have the victim write a letter stating I did not assult them if she already said I did to the officer and its in the report? If we do get married, can I have her testify for me, but not for the prosecutor?
*have her testify
Sorry, I had not seen that you had responded until this morning.
The police report contains hearsay, and although there might be an exception to the hearsay rules, it probably would not be allowed.
As to the letter... this would be advisable only if it were true. If not, she could be on the hook for perjury (lying under oath, etc...)
Also, if she says that you did not assault her, she could be charged for filing a false report.
If you do get married, and want her to testify for you, the problem is that the prosecution can cross-examine her, meaning that while she doesn't have to testify, if she does, the prosecution can ask her about the events, and what happened. She can't remain silent should she testify. That would open the doors to the prosecution getting her to say what actually happened.
She would have to do this under oath. Again, lying would be perjury, which is a serious felony (10 years prison in some instances).
If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please select the "accept" button. If you have already clicked "accept", or if you will in the future, please let me know so I can track these for my own reports and customer satisfaction stats. Thank you, and again, good luck to you!