When most people think about the characteristics they want in a New York criminal defense attorney, terms like aggressive, vigilant, and zealous often come to mind. And to be sure, these are all traits that a well-rounded defense attorney should possess. However, this most certainly is an incomplete list. One of the most essential characteristics for all New York criminal defense attorneys to have is the ability to negotiate on behalf of their client.
One of the areas in which negotiation is especially important is when discussing plea agreements. Many criminal cases end up in a negotiated guilty plea for an agreed-upon sentence. Other plea agreements are “open guilty pleas,” meaning the defendant places all sentencing discretion in the hands of the judge, potentially with a recommendation from the prosecutor.
As we have reported in the past. Plea bargaining is not only important but having a criminal defense attorney who can plea bargain effectively is a basic constitutional right. Please read our past blog about the US Supreme Court vacating guilty pleas for ineffective assistance of counsel.
Prosecutors have a lot of cases, and they do not have time to take every single case to trial. Often, prosecutors will triage their cases, looking to resolve as many as possible without the need of going to trial. In short, a plea deal is a way for the prosecutor to dispose of a case without requiring the prosecutor to put that much the time and effort into the case.
Plea bargains sometimes carry a bad connotation in the world of criminal defense. However, for many defendants, a plea agreement is the desired outcome. Negotiated agreements can have several benefits. For example, a plea agreement spares the defendant and their family the stress and anxiety of going through a trial. Often, plea agreements will result in the prosecutor dropping the most serious charge and proceeding on the less serious offenses. In this way, a plea agreement may result in a far more lenient sentence. Plea agreements can also involve specific recommendations, such as drug treatment, anger management, or parenting classes, in place of incarceration.
Negotiating is about more than working out a favorable plea bargain. Negotiation is an invaluable skill that comes into play in throughout the criminal trial process. For example, a skilled negotiator may be able to convince a prosecutor to drop certain charges based on the strength of a pretrial motion. Negotiation skills are also useful when discussing the admissibility of certain defense or prosecution evidence. And finally, criminal defense attorneys routinely negotiate possible reductions in sentences, even after a case has gone to trial. In short, having an attorney who is a skilled negotiator is just as important as having an aggressive advocate. The best New York criminal defense attorneys know how to switch between the roles of negotiator and litigator seamlessly.
Have You Been Charged with a New York Crime?
If you were recently arrested and charged with a crime, contact the New York criminal defense attorneys at Tilem & Associates. At Tilem & Associates, we represent clients who face all types of serious charges, including New York gun crimes, drug offenses, as well as violent crimes. To learn more about how we can help you defend against the charges you face, call 877-377-8666 to schedule a free consultation today.