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Whenever a defendant enters into a negotiated plea, the judge makes sure that he is aware of the rights that he will be giving up. In the federal court, the defendant who wants to plead guilty must testify under oath to the facts that established his guilt. It is common for a judge to ask the defendant a long list of questions to determine whether he understands the plea.
For the most part, defendants usually follow their lawyer’s instructions. To avoid disrupting the plea-bargain, the defendant answers “yes” to all the questions. The judge will accept the plea once he is satisfied with the defendant’s answers. However, there are also instances when the judge consults with the crime victim or the probation officer to prepare the pre-sentence report. The judge also needs to listen to the prosecutor’s arguments including that of the defence before making the sentencing decision.
For a knowing and intelligent plea of guilt, the defendant has to:
- Admit that his conduct is punishable by law,
- Admit and understand the charges made against him,
- Understand the consequences of the plea and
- Understand the rights he is waiving by pleading guilty.
Knowing the consequences of the plea means that the defendant understands the sentence as it stands and the possible sentence if the case goes through trial. The rights that are being waived when the defendant pleads guilty include the right to counsel if unrepresented, the right to a trial by jury, the right not to incriminate himself and the right to confront and cross-examine the accusers.
In some courts, the defendant may be required to fill up and sign some forms indicating that he is waiving his rights. If the defendant is not an American citizen, he must be aware that he is facing the risks of deportation once convicted of the crime.
It is very important for a defendant to have legal representation through Donich Law during plea bargaining. An experienced criminal defence lawyer will complete a reasonable plea bargain for his client in order to decrease possible sentencing. The lawyer can negotiate the best possible plea bargain to protect his client.
With millions of criminal cases filed, reactivated and reopened in state courts, the adjudication process is often inundated. This has resulted to greater reliance on private law firms like Donich Law for their legal expertise. Whether you are under investigation or were charged with a crime, it is highly essential to have a skilled and experienced criminal defence lawyer by your side.
However, the primary obstacle for most people is the assumption that most lawyers will charge them a fortune. While it is relatively normal to fear excessive rates, exorbitant retainers and hidden charges, there are always exceptions to the norm. Your legal fees can be reduced by a dedicated criminal lawyer by offering a set price instead of a per-hour rate or by waiving any retainer. A better option is setting up payment plans or taking the case pro bono.
According to a criminal defence lawyer, the legal fees will depend on the case. For example, infractions and misdemeanors are often quoted retainer-free flat fees. On the other hand, felony charges often demand retainer and hourly rates. For some lawyers, initial consultations are usually free of charge.
Professional law firms are pretty straightforward about the details of the consultation process during which time, they will inform a client about the fee structure and legal services. They will usually review the charges and provide the necessary advice. The way they respond will give you with an idea of their expertise.
Most private law firms offer criminal defence services but not all of their lawyers specialize in criminal defence. If you have been accused of a crime, your best option is the criminal defence lawyer who has the knowledge and experience in the relevant area of law with a proven track record and work history. Since client-lawyer communication is very crucial, a good choice will be a professional lawyer who will respond promptly.
Their hard work, results and individualized client service has given Donich Law a reputation as a trusted risk management and litigation law firm. The lawyers are hardworking, dedicated and detailed by nature which is reflected in their work. Resources are deployed quickly and effectively to save their clients from stress.