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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27726
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My name is***** issue concerns my grandson who is charged

Customer Question

My name is***** issue concerns my grandson who is charged with "enter house to commit" A&B, & grand larceny >200
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Sorry. I hit send too early. The robbery was for around $250 currency & a watch and a few pieces of other jewelry. The house entered was his great grandparents home where he & a friend worked the day before. The friend borrowed my grandsons truck & went into their home while they were in church. My grandson was able to retrieve all items & return. He wasn't involved, but the investigator told him if ether would confess, all charges would be dropped since the grandparents didn't want to file. Tomorrow my grandsons attorney is wanting him to plead to something. Wouldn't there be a possibility he do better in court?
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello, In what US state did this take place? How old is your grandson? What is the plea offer that is being recommended?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Virginia, and he's 18. We're not sure what the plea is, but we suspect it will be reduced to a misdemeanor & 6-12 mo probation. He hasn't had any problems before & everything was returned the same day it happened. I know that doesn't make it right, but the grandparents are heart broken over this too & want to go to court & try to get it dismissed. If my grandson accepts a plea to anything, then he won't have a chance to appeal, will he? However. If he goes to court & gets a felony charge, wouldn't he have the opportunity to appeal?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
He can appeal either a misdemeanor or a felony charge, if he has a legitimate basis for that appeal. By that I mean, he can't appeal simply because he changed his mind about the plea. Also, keep in mind that post conviction remedies are all longshots. The overwhelming majority of appeals do NOT result in an overturning of a plea or conviction. So you can't count on coming out better, and he could conceivably come out worse, on a felony appeal. If his choice is to take a plea to a misdemeanor with a guarantee of no jail time (probation) versus going all the way to trial on a felony charge and risking some years of prison should he lose at trial, under most circumstances that would be a very good deal for a defendant.The fact is that even if your grandson wasn't the heavy here, if a jury believed that he played a part in the criminal enterprise, he could be convicted of the same charges as the person who actually entered the home. That said, if complainants aren't really interested in going forward, this matter is very likely to be reduced to a misdemeanor whether your grandson chooses to take a plea or not. And if that's true there's no need at all for him to jump at a plea bargain. He needs to have a long talk with his lawyer who can tell him the good and bad sides of taking the plea and also the strengths and weaknesses of the case against him. He should find out what his chances are of being able to get this conviction off of his criminal record if he takes the plea. He should also find out the maximum amount of time he could be facing on the felony if he wants trial. Then he can weigh all the evidence and make an informed and intelligent choice about his case. It doesn't matter what his lawyer wants him to do. Once the client decides not to take a plea, that lawyer must prepare the best trial defense he can. It's not the lawyer's choice. It's your grandson's. The situation is pressing because the court wants a speedy decision, but he's got a lot to think about. So another question he should ask his lawyer is how long that probation misdemeanor offer will be on the table before the prosecutor will withdraw it. Once he knows that, he can get some time to think this all over very carefully, and his lawyer is professionally obligated to support him as best he can, whatever that decision is.