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Bill Powers & John Landreth: Plea Bargains

Posted by attorney F. Powers

Call Today @ 704-342-HELP or Visit Online Bill: Hi, I'm Bill Powers and we are in segment four of four regarding what it means to be charged with a felony in North Carolina. Now John, we've talked a little bit about probable cause hearings and bond and the administrative hearings. Once you have the discovery, that means the materials that the state turns over regarding the case, what are you looking for? How do you decide is this something we should take to trial, is this something we should try to negotiate for a plea? What are some of the factors you're looking into? John: Well, this is what I like to call the fun part, when you actually get the facts and what they have. The first thing that I am looking for is what I call hard evidence. Bill: Right. John: There's a saying that there's the truth and then there's what we can actually prove. So that's what we are looking for, the hard evidence that lets us know what gives us the facts that we can actually prove. Bill: Well, it's important to note that just because it's written in the evidence it doesn't mean that we necessarily believe every word of it. And it's probably true on the other side as well. The things that I look for are the officer's notes, the charging officer's documentation, diagrams, drawings, pictures, obviously it depends a lot on the case. A murder case is substantially different than a trafficking drugs case. Once you look at the hard evidence, what else do you look for, John? Are there plea offers? John: There are and what we are looking at and what we try to do is a balancing test. What is the state offering to us and what are the penalties there? How much jail time are they offering? Are they wanting any active jail time? And if not, you have to balance it out with are you going to go to a trial and what could the possible outcomes be at that trial. Bill: Well, plea bargains or plea negotiations are legal in the state of North Carolina. They are accepted in the state of North Carolina. It's a public policy concern because frankly we just can't afford to try all the cases in the state of North Carolina. And so we balance these things out. Now, if you or someone you care about is charged with a felony and you'd like more information regarding the bond hearings or probable cause or even how you get discovery, please give us a ring. The consultation is always free as well as confidential.

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