Fran, Hi. We've worked together before. It's nice to work withyou. I know that my particular attorney would not spend alot of time at this court, and so I don't know if thesemeetings would happen quite so easily. My concern is that I haven't spent much facetime withmy attorney -- and I'm still trying to tell if it's the right match. But his feeling is that with the casefiled he would like to get the police report -- requiringhim to go to court on my behalf to get the report. I knowhe is right -- it is hard for me to get it myself, as Ialready tried. But for him to do this he would need me to sign upfor full representation -- and as I said, I'm not sure I'mready yet. The urgency would be to get the report soon,so as to better be able to set a date with the district attorneybefore the arraignment date. Hence my earlier question about how likely this wouldbe to come to pass. But my question here for you is how much of an advantage is it to try to reach the district attorney before the arraignment? Is it significantly easier to work out a plea-bargain earlyas opposed to later? Is there a distinct advantage ofbeing able to meet before the arraignment?
Hi,I thought your screen name looked familiar, but I see so many that I wasn't sure. You're absolutely correct. Once the case is filed the police report is discovery material. The DA will turn this over to your attorney.In some cases, it's a huge advantage for a defense attorney and a criminal defense attorney to meet in advance. In most, it's not necessary. You're not required to plead guilty at your arraignment, no matter what your charge is. You're entitled to think on your best options. This is not the kind of a case where if you have to plead not guilty on your adjourn date, you will lose the deal of a lifetime. In short, when a defense lawyer is really asking for something that he knows is pushing the envelope, giving the DA some lead time to dwell on it rather than surprising him down the road is a good idea. But he can get that lead time after the arraignment too. There's several weeks between court appearances.Generally, the less work that a DA has to put into a case to get it off of his desk, the more generous he'll be. So the beginning of a case is usually a good time to cut a deal But again, that doesn't mean the very beginning. YOu are entitled to see the police report before making up your mind, and it's not unreasonable for your lawyer to ask for it so that you can see it. Sometimes, with a misdemeanor you can get the best deal at the end of the case, when you've delayed it so many times that he'll offer you just about anything just to get rid of it. If your lawyer's experienced, he'll know the best time to push. It will depend upon the case, and also upon the individual DA.I'll be happy to go into this more with you if you need it tomorrow. But I promised myself I'd be in bed by midnight today, and I'm running over that. If you respond further here, I'll get it in the morning.
18+ years of high-volume criminal defense work from arraignment through plea or trial.
Fran, It's good to know you are confident that the DA willturn over the police report. You mentioned that thereare several weeks between the arraignment and the thenext court appearance. That is closer timing thanI realized. What would typically be happening at thecourt appearance after the arraignment? That's thee next question for you. I'll wait to hear from youin the morning. I will comment that I know the attorney I am workingwith could be with me at the arraignment. If he couldn'tmeet with the district attorney beforehand, that wouldseem to me an opportunity to hand over some material. Myimpression from your earlier reply is that these chancesto meet in court are helpful. Our key letter is the onefrom the DMV saying that the suspension is "set aside(cancelled)" and reinstated the date it began. Gary
Hi Gary,DAs are required to turn discovery over. The only reason they wouldn't is if you took a very early plea, like at arraignments. By taking a plea you waive your right to challenge the evidence against you and you won't get a chance to see it.It's been my experience that your attorney should have little to no difficulty obtaining the police report when he asks.What happens at the first date after arraignment is generally related to which way the case is going to go. That is, will there be a plea or will the case move forward in the direction of trial. Usually, if there was no offer at arraingments, there would be here and maybe will be depending on your lawyer's conversation with the DA.Every case takes on a pattern of its own, but most court adjourn dates are simply status updates so that the judge doesn't lose track of what is going on with his cases.
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