Goodman Law Group, P.C.
520 S 4th St,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone: (702) 383 – 5088
Fax: (702) 385 – 5088
Plea bargaining happens when there is an arrangement between the prosecutor and the defendant regarding a criminal case. The disposition should be agreed on by both parties involved. Plea bargaining could end a certain case without having a trial procedure. The most important part of plea bargaining is that the defendant should plead guilty and confess to the crime that he/she is being charged. The defendant, consulting a domestic violence lawyer, also waives his/her right to trial and understands the consequences (charges, maximum sentences, etc) he/she could get after pleading guilty.
Plea Bargaining in Domestic Violence
The plea bargaining in domestic violence is often discouraged because it somehow betrays the policies regarding domestic violence, neglects the fact that the offender should be penalized, and decreases the gravity of the crime committed. However, plea bargaining is sometimes considered to spare the victim, even his/her family, from the stress of having a trial. Some victims find it stressful to testify in front of an audience which is necessary in trial proceedings.
The following are some recommendations regarding the use of plea bargaining:
- The intention of protecting the victim, ending domestic violence, holding the offender accountable and reinforcing the grave criminal nature of domestic violence should be part of the approach in plea bargaining.
- The victim should always be consulted by the defendant.
- Plea negotiation before the arraignment would be preferred to reduce trauma for the victim and to immediately start the rehabilitation of the defendant.
- The following questions should be asked in considering charge reduction:
◦ Is a child present during the crime?
◦ Were weapons used? Or were there any threats of using a weapon?
◦ Are there any injuries inflicted?
◦ Does the defendant have a history of abuse?
◦ Does the defendant have any prior criminal record?
◦ What is the extent of the violence and the evidence presented?
◦ What are the requests of the victim?
- The results of the plea bargain should correspond to the sentencing guidelines of the office.
- The reduced charge, if possible, should emulate the original nature of the crime.
- Using the need for the defendant's timely rehabilitation as a basis for plea bargaining will be considered if the importance of its timeliness should be emphasized.
The judge, who does not participate in plea bargain discussions, may reject the guilty plea and the disposition itself if the charges do not have any factual basis.
If you have any concerns about domestic violence and other criminal offenses, consult with Atty. Ross Goodman, one of the top criminal defense lawyers in Las Vegas.