Skip to main content

Criminal defense, plea bargain under OR criminal proceudre

Coos Bay, OR |

my son committed a crime, he is eighteen. He was walking by a house that had its garage door open and there was a bike in it - he stupidly took the bike (right around the street from the our house). Someone seen him and called the police, who knew who he was and they came I didn't think it was him becasue he isn't typically a thief, but I gave them permission to look in the back yard and shed and they found the bike - they took it gave it back this whole thing from time he took it until the kid got it back 3 hours or less. He has never never been in trouble besides an m.i.p. and he paid the $200 and some dollar fine - they charged him with burglary 1 and theft 1 (burg because the house was occupied) - the attorney (public defender) he got has gotten an offer from the DA to remove the theft and charge him with a burg 3 - still a felony - and he has to do 30 days in jail (his atty told me that he normally would only do 10 but they want to teach him a lesson - even though he has never been in trouble like this. and charge him $150 restitution and 1 1/2 years probation. I don't feel this is a fair sentence for him, I called his atty and expressed my concern and asked him if there was anyway he could get him a different offer - he said no he got him the best offer he could and the only other thing they could offer him would be criminal tres and they would do that. So is this fair?

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

It's for your son to decide not you, but given the facts, everything seems fair except the felony charge. try to convince your son he needs to insist on a misdemeanor charge even if he has to serve a few more days in jail. It's worth the effort. Residential burglary is a serious crime no matter how lightly he is getting off--this time.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

1 lawyer agrees

2 comments

Asker

Posted

P D's and Ct. Appt. lawyers aren't worth the salt that's in their bread. They are paid by the State and cater to them. They cant afford resources for good defense. Justice is proportional one's money or who they know.

John M. Kaman

John M. Kaman

Posted

I have to disagree with you there. Some of the best lawyers I know are PDs and Court appointed. They have more than an adequate budget to defend a case. I suppose you think you could do a better job.

Posted

This is your son's decision. Generally public defenders do good work for 1st offenders and understand the limitations of offers, compared to the ultimate consequence and risk of the higher charge. If your son's end result is a misdeanor conviction, even with a little jail time, then your son has done pretty good--since he did walk into someone's home and take the property of another. If your son is as good a guy as you want to believe, then he should be able to stay out of trouble long enough to eventually have that conviction expunged from his record at a later time.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

There are some facts requiring clarification before an assessment of fairness can be offered.

First: Was the garage attached to the house or separate from it? If separate a charge of residential burglary may not lie. Theft and criminal trespass still would but these are much less serious offenses.

Second: Where did the police recover the bicycle? If from the back yard then I assume as is parent you had access to it and permission to consent to its search. What about the shed? Did your son have exclusive access to it? If so, your consent may not have been valid. These issues may improve your son's bargaining position or may require an outright dismissal as the police may have violated his fourth amendment rights.

Mark as helpful

5 found this helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

As has been stated, it is you son's decision. My experience is that the local Public Defender knows what is reasonable in the community from the daily practice.
It is important that your son understands the implications of the conviction for employment and for use as a prior. (I am in California and we have the Three Strikes laws.)
Good Luck

Mark as helpful

2 found this helpful

1 lawyer agrees

Posted

Plea bargaining is just like any other sort of negotiation. The more the defense has to trade the better outcome he can negotiate. The best plea offers are made to defendants who have some legal or factual defense to mount if the case is litigated. For example, sometimes a better plea offer is made to a defendant who agrees not to litigate a sound legal motion. Without seeing the police reports in your son's case, it is difficult to know what, if any, defenses or legal motions might have been available to him.

Usually public defenders are in a very good position to know what plea offers are typical or even possible in a jurisdiction.

As others have said, your son would be in a much better position if he could plead to a misdemeanor and avoid a felony conviction. That said, sometimes an Oregon felony conviction can be reduced to a misdemeanor at the end of a successful probation. Ask your son's attorney whether the relief in ORS 161.705 might be available under the terms of the current plea offer.

Mark as helpful

2 found this helpful

2 lawyers agree

Criminal defense topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics