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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 25508
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hello, I would like to have more understanding regarding the

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Hello, I would like to have more understanding regarding the plea deal that I agreed into. My attorney always seems to be busy and I still don't quite understand what is coming next. I was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada for felony domestic violence/ strangulation. I was released on house arrest. After entering into a plea agreement we appealed for a release on my own recognizance and it was granted by my soon to be sentencing judge.

The plea agreement says that I plead guilty to the Felony and if I attend 26 domestic violence classes and attend Alcoholics Anonymous 2 times a week than I may withdrawal my guilty plea to the felony and plead guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence in which I will receive time served. Also a condition of the plea that is if the judge does not follow the plea than I may withdrawal the plea. The prosecution does not object to probation.

My sentencing date is the first week of January '14 and I have still yet to be interviewed by parole/probation for my presentence report. I have looked into domestic violence classes and the only one recognized by the court says that I am not in the system because I haven't been sentenced so I cant attend the classes yet.

My question is to make sure that I do not need to meet the conditions of the plea until after sentencing if and when the judge accepts the plea?


My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced criminal lawyer.

If you have not been sentenced yet, then you are not expected to start fulfilling any conditions of your agreement. The only thing you will have to do will be to keep your interview for the preparation of the probation report.'

The judge has essentially warned you that if anything surprising comes up on the probation report that would prevent him from giving you this deal, he will let you withdraw your plea. So this sounds standard to me.

If you want to show good intentions, you could start attending meetings at AA. As for the program, generally courts will mandate which one they want you to attend at your sentencing. If the court doesn't mandate a specific program, you should be able to get a list of programs that have been vetted and approved by the court and you can pick among them for one with convenient hours and location.

If you don't have a date yet to meet with probation for the report, you want to stay on top of your lawyer so that he can make sure you don't somehow fail to see them before your court date. If you were given a number to arrange for it yourself, call it promptly and keep following up if you don't get a date.

Good luck to you!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Fran. I definitely want to show good intentions and have attended some AA meetings, just not the two a week as stated in the plea deal. I have two follow up questions if I may. You said the judge has essentially warned my about surprises coming up..... In my case my attorney and the prosecution but in the plea that if the judge does not agree with the plea than I may withdrawal. What I thought I got from that is if the sentencing judge decides nawww I don't like that im sentencing him to X amount in prison (which they can do) than at that time I could withdrawal and plead not guilty?


My second follow up question is staying positive. From what I think I understand if the sentencing judge follows the plea agreement than how does that work? She gives me X amount of probation and the 6 months needed to fulfill my part of the plea and when I complete what happens? Obviously as well she will set an X sentence to be imposed if I do not complete my part of the deal? I don't think my case is what is known as a suspended sentence.


Thank you for your kind service and answers to these questions. :)


Sorry for the delay but I was working with another customer.

It is standard for the judge to make a record saying that if he cannot keep his promise o the sentencing day, you can withdraw your plea and return to a not guilty status.. Otherwise, it looks to me as if you have agreed to take a plea to a felony and probation will monitor your compliance with the meetings and the program.

If you fulfil your part of the bargain, that's great. You can return before the judge and get your felony disimssed and get a misdmeanor and credit for time already served. If you fail on felony probation by getting arrested for a new crime or even by breaking probation's rules, probation can lodge a violation against you. At that time, you would come before the judge and probation would tell the court what kind of time they'd want you to do. The judge is not bound by that. Unless on the sentencing date he tells you on the record exactly what he will give you if you fail to satisfactorily complete your probation requirements, the judge can go along with probation's recommendation or sentence you to anything up to the maximum amount of time allowed under the statute to which you pled guilty.

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