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Got offered a deal by the D.A. should I take it.

San Diego, CA |

I am in the US military. No prior criminal record. No drug or alcohol history. Not a speeding ticket in 4 years. I am charged with 2 1st degree burglaries and receiving stolen property. I was offered a deal today by the D.A. for 1 year stip local time. 1 count 1st degree burglary, 1 count receiving stolen property. I admitted to the crimes. Should I take it. What do you think my chances are of getting a lesser sentence of either pleading the sheet or taking it to trial?

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Attorney answers 3


This is not a question anyone here should be able to answer, and the only person you should be listening to in this situation is your lawyer.

Whether or not it's a good deal depends entirely on the unique situation and facts of the case. Is it a good deal? Maybe. Can it get better? Maybe. Could it get worse if you turn it down? Maybe. Could you beat the charges entirely? Maybe.

You have a constitutional right to take your case to trial and make the prosecution prove the charges against you. They cannot punish you for exercising your constitutional right to a trial, but they can reward you by pleading guilty early by offering a reduced sentence.

Don't look for the answer to this question here. There's too much at stake. Have a long discussion with your lawyer about any possible motions to exclude your statements, the strength of the evidence, whether or not there are other legal or factual defenses, etc. Only then can you make an informed decision.

Good luck.


This is WAY too important a decision to entrust to a stranger on the Internet.

I agree with Mr. Dane's advice, and I'd just like to toss in a couple of additional thoughts on the consequences of a First Degree (which means residential) burglary conviction.

Residential burglary is listed as a serious felony, which makes it a "strike" under the Three Strikes law. It is also prison presumptive, which means a judge must send you to prison if you are convicted, UNLESS there are unusual circumstances that would justify granting you probation. Your military service and lack of a prior record would probably qualify as unusual circumstances, but there is no guarantee.

You suggested "pleading to the sheet" and hoping for less than a year in jail. A criminal defendant always has the right to plead guilty to all the charges; however, if you plead guilty to two counts of residential burglary, as opposed to accepting the deal, there would be no guarantee that you wouldn't be sent to state prison. You would also have two prior "strike" convictions, so any future felony could send you to prison for 25 years to life.

Under California's Three Strikes law, the sentence is increased if you are convicted of ANY new felony and the prosecution proves you have prior "strike" convictions.

Strikes are the serious felonies listed in Penal Code §1192.7(c) and the violent felonies listed in Penal Code §667.5(c).

If you are convicted of ANY new felony and ONE prior "strike" conviction is charged and proven:

1) You are not eligible for probation.
2) Your sentence will be doubled.
3) If your new offense is a non-violent felony, you will have to serve 80% of your sentence, instead of half, before being paroled. (People sent to prison for a violent felony have to serve 85% whether they have a prior "strike" or not.)

If you are convicted of ANY new felony with TWO prior strike convictions, the sentence is 25 years to life.

Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create an attorney/client relationship. It's impossible to give detailed, accurate advice based on a few sentences on a website (and you shouldn't provide too much specific information about your legal matter on a public forum like this site, anyway). You should always seek advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction who can give you an informed opinion after reviewing all of the relevant information.



this is beyond SAD, I think the system is definitely flawed!


Holy smokes. Don't accept advice from us on the web. You've got to speak in depth with your lawyer and ask every question you can ask and be satisfied you're making the right decision. If you want a second or third opinion, then get copies from your lawyer of all of the law enforcement reports and other relevant documents, and go for an in-person consultation with other lawyers, and take those documents.

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