Are we able to get a new lawyer now that we have heard the deal on the table? For a first offense we were surprised jail time is the only offer. He is the main provider for the household of two and I can't afford rent, feed our pets for 6 months without him. Our current lawyer didn't seem too confident and he didn't seem to have a strategy other than 'maybe' we shouldn't take it to trial. I feel 180 days is extreme as a first time offender. What are the chances of a better deal down the road? The person that brought charges against him does not want to pursue the matter and she hasn't been to court at all once.
The person who brought the charges does not have to be in court until the trial or sentencing hearing. You can hire a new criminal defense lawyer at any time. If your other one doesn't feel he can successfully defend the case, interview others to see what their opinion is. The fact of rent, feeding pets, and inconvenience are not reasons behind what a sentence should or should not be. Obviously need to know all facts before expressing an opinion as to whether the sentence is appropriate or not. Not enough in the post to tell.
Many on AVVO offer free consultations, or will follow up with emails. Good luck.
The person who reported the incident, (private citizens cannot press charges), has no bearing on whether or not the District Attorney files. You are correct, 180 days for a first time trespass seems like a high first offer.
Without knowing the details, (and do not post them here, this site is not confidential), it is impossible to know the reason why the D.A. is pushing so hard. If your partner has not accepted the deal, he can always get a second opinion from another attorney before deciding whether or not to take it to trial.
An attorney will never definitively say, "We MUST take this to trial." the attorney's liberty is not at stake, but should explain the consequences, and then it comes down to the defendant making an educated decision.
If he does decide to take it to trial make sure he understands the maximum potential sentence, that is probably going to be what the D.A. asks for if he loses.
Any answer given by me on this website is not reliable legal advice because it is based on the limited information posted by the asker. The answer specifically does not establish any attorney/client relationship and is meant solely to give general advice with the hope that the asker has a better understanding of how to proceed with their legal issue.
All the factors you are bringing up about the inconvenience have no bearing on a case. If he doesn't likenthe deal, he doesn't have to take it. If he doesn't believe his current attorney is doing him any good, get someone else with experience.
Sounds like you have chosen possible chosen one who wants to get paid, but not do the work required to defend. Go out and interview others. Find someone willing to investigate the matter.
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A stranger on the Internet shouldn't try to second guess your partner's lawyer without knowing all of the facts.
If it's just a simple trespassing charge, that sounds very extreme (and may be the maximum term, depending on the charges).
If he's charged with residential burglary (a felony that carries up to six years in state prison, as well as being a "strike" under the Three Strikes law), it might be a great deal that he should take immediately.
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First of all, your partner must be offered a plea to aggravated trespassing, not simple trespassing as that has a maximum sentence of 180 days. Aggravated trespassing is usually offered as a reduction from a domestic violence charge. But 180 days for a first offense is out of line.
Your partner should contact one of the top rated (10) lawyers on AVVO and get a free second opinion. Try to bring a copy of the police reports and complaint with you so they can be reviewed. Without seeing those facts, it is impossible to say whether s/he should take the deal.
If is is a regular trespass, it is possible your partner misunderstood the offer and heard what the maximum sentence was, not what was going to be imposed.
Nobody here can tell you whether the offer of 180 days is a good one or not. If he was/is facing more serious charges, a plea deal for six months and a trespass may be a phenomenal deal. If that was the offer for a single charge of trespass, it's ridiculous.
Nobody can predict what may happen if he turns down this offer. Will it get better? I don't know. Worse? I don't know. Sometimes an offer from the prosecution has an expiration date and if it isn't accepted, it's off the table.
One final point - for a sentence of 180, he would do 90 (half time). There is also a better than average chance that he gets released after serving only a small percentage of that time because of overcrowding.
The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case.
That's a pretty steep sentence for trespassing. His options are to accept the deal or take it to trial.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney--Former Prosecutor--20 years experience.
Somehow your fine partner has upset the prosecutor. That is a very high sentence for a first timer. Your partner could benefit from meeting with an attorney to discuss further. Even if your partner decides not to hire the attorney the consultation with him or her could help the partner understand the issues and your options. Many attorneys offer a free consultation. I wish you the best.
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