Helping People in Trouble
The criminal justice system can be a confusing and scary place when you’ve been accused of a crime.
Where do you turn? Who can you trust?
What are your options?
Immediate Contact with the Prosecutor
I often call the prosecutor immediately, because they don’t have to charge you just because you were arrested. Sometimes with a call, I can give them your side of the story, or your witnesses’ names to clear up any misunderstanding. This action can sometimes persuade the prosecutor to file a lesser charge, or not to prosecute you at all.
Sometimes you are eligible for programs that postpone your prosecution. If you are eligible, the judge agrees to dismiss the criminal charges when you complete all conditions of the program.
This is an agreement negotiated by your attorney between the prosecutor and you. Even before your court appearance, a plea bargain may help you:
- Avoid a formal trial
- Avoid losing your job
- Avoid convictions
- Allow more time to pay your fines and court costs
- Know what will likely happen to you before going to court
Withholding of Adjudication
Avoids a formal criminal conviction on your record. In other words, you are not found “guilty” of the charge, and may deny ever having been convicted of this charge.
Plea in Absentia
Allows the case to be settled without a trial or even your appearance in court.
Treatment or Jail
Many people suffer from addictions, emotional and psychological problems and need treatment, not jail or prison time.
Sealing of Criminal Records
Allows you to truthfully state, with few exceptions, that you were never arrested or charged with a crime; seals all information about your case.