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The Plea Bargain Process

Posted By Criminal Law Standard || 27-Aug-2010

    Although the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved through a plea bargain, it is wise for a person charged with a crime to retain a Dallas criminal attorney who has extensive criminal trial experience and who has obtained positive results at trial. 

    Dallas criminal defense attorney Tom D'Amore has negotiated literally thousands of plea bargain agreements during the course of his 23-year career as a Dallas criminal attorney.  More importantly, Tom has taken more than 400 jury trial verdicts, and has an outstanding jury trial record. 

    A plea bargain is a mini trial that, in most cases, lasts only a few minutes.  Typically, the prosecution and the criminal attorney who represents the person charged with the crime negotiate the terms of the plea bargain agreement.  Frequently, several offers and counter offers are exchanged before the parties reach an agreement.  Of course, the person charged with the crime, not his attorney decides whether to accept the plea bargain terms the prosecution offers. 

    If the prosecution and the accused (through his attorney) reach an agreement on a plea bargain, forms are completed that spell-out the terms of the plea, and the person charged with a crime signs a document in which he (typically) pleads guilty to the charges.  Once the documents are prepared, the prosecuting attorney, defense attorney, and the person charged with the crime go before the judge for a mini-trial that disposes of the case. 

    The prosecutor presents as evidence the plea documents to the judge, including the document in which the person charged admits to committing the crime alleged.  The prosecution then "rests" its case. Thereafter, the Judge and/or the defendant's attorney typically ask the defendant a few questions (under oath) to, among other things, ensure that the accused understands the nature of the charges, his plea, and its ramifications. 

    Depending on the plea terms and the law relevant to the specific case, the judge will typically find the accused guilty (or, in the case of deferred adjudication, defer the guilty/not guilty verdict to some future date) and sentence the accused pursuant to the terms of the plea bargain agreement.  A judge is NOT, however, required to accept a plea agreement.  (This rarely occurs, however.) 

    Dallas criminal attorney Tom D'Amore has extensive experience in, among others, theft cases, drug cases, capital murder and other violent crime cases, and driving while intoxicated cases. This experience enables Tom to advise clients as to whether a plea bargain offer is reasonable, and whether the client should consider accepting the plea offer.  Of course, if a plea bargain is not the right solution for the case, Tom will take the client's case to trial. 

    Contact the D'Amore Law Firm to schedule a free case review with Dallas criminal defense attorney Tom D'Amore

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