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Criminal case trial or no trial

Santa Clara, CA |

For my domestic violence case I do not want to take the present plea deal because it is not what I want. Will it worsen with time? The case is very confusing and can go either way. The prosecution does not have a strong case except for one or two pictures that show only minor injuries. What will happen if it goes to trial? Will the deal get better if I wait? I am employeed but do not have much money for trial. Will I get public defender if I have a job? Will a public defender fight with same interest like a private lawyer if I can get one? I am not US citizen

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Attorney answers 5


Whether or not you go to trial is a decision you and your lawyer make together. You can still get a PD but if your income is over a certain amount, you May have to contribute to your defense.


These are questions best posed to your public defender. Domestic violence offenses have serious immigration consequences. If you have some money you may want to consider hiring an attorney. Most attorneys, like myself, offer a free initial consultation. Good luck



in cases like these do deals go worse towards the end or better?

Vijay Dinakar

Vijay Dinakar


There's no general rule, it depends on numerous factors


That's a lot of questions! :-) Sometimes the deal in fact can get worse. Talk to your lawyer to see what the common procedure for that is there. Typically if my client and I are seriously considering offers, the prosecutor will leave the offer open but will revoke if it's dragging on, or if it was a particularly great offer. Be sure to tell your attorney about the status of your citizenship in detail and ask what your options are to protect your ability to stay in the US. Since you can't decide whether to use a public defender, why not meet with the one you have been assigned and see if you get along ok!

Legal Disclaimer: Ms. Straub is licensed to practice law in Washington State. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship and is not confidential. The response is in the form of consumer legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question.


My answer would partially depend on if your case is a felony or a misdemeanor. If a misdemeanor, because your exposure is limited, you should probably fight the case because of the dire consequences a domestic violence case will have on your immigration status. Many of the public defender's clients are employed so that should not be a problem. Public Defender representation is based on your income level. Sometimes offers get worse, sometimes they get better. Courthouses are all different and lots of times offers are based on how much the prosecutor wants to avoid going to trial on a particular day and if they think they might loose. If the case could go either way, you should be very cautious before taking any deal because of immigration. You should have an attorney assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case and properly advise you based on your immigration status- whether LPR/greencard, undocumented, etc.


I agree with my colleagues, you should speak with an attorney to see whether he or she believes you have a good case. It is best to consult an attorney even if you plan on taking a deal because they may be able to inform you whether the deal that is offered is reasonable.

In terms of your immigration status, you should inform you criminal defense attorney about your status and contact an immigration attorney. If you have no status whatsoever, the arrest can be sufficient to place you in removal proceedings; if you are a permanent resident it can make you deportable if the records includes certain things. Also if you are facing time, there could be disastrous implications to your immigration status.

Gabriela M. Lopez, Esq.
Immigration and Criminal Defense Attorney

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