I think the general consensus of people living in the Denver Metro area is that when someone accepts a Plea Bargain from District Attorneys, the person must be guilty of something worse. I do not believe this is true, especially in serious felony Sexual Assault matters, where men and women are often overcharged.
Exhausted Defendants are More Willing to Accept Plea Agreements
Unless a person has gone through the long, arduous process of fighting felony allegations in Arapahoe, Douglas or Denver County, they cannot realize how draining it is. Every aspect of a person is put to the test emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I tell people in these situations that it is like running a marathon. Clients who have endured the battle have told me stories of sleepless nights and constant worry over their cases. It is no wonder that after feeling beat up for many months, when District Attorneys decide to make an offer, even innocent clients reluctantly accept an offer to obtain closure.
Sometimes, taking a plea agreement is in the best interest of clients. It is my job to provide the best assessment and feedback I can. After carefully reviewing the evidence and listening to my client’s side of the story, sometimes I advise them not to go to trial based on the evidence. The final decision is always up to the client. If a he or she wants to take a plea offer, I can often work a better deal by helping an Adams and Douglas County District Attorneys understand overlooked circumstances in the case.
A Plea Agreement May Not Cover Sentencing Argument by the DA
There are a few things everyone should know about plea discussions and plea agreements in Colorado. District Attorneys in Jefferson, Weld or Yuma County, and everywhere in Colorado, are authorized by C.R.S. 16-7-301 to engage in plea discussions with defendants and or the defendant’s attorney. It is very important for defendants to know that prosecutors are only permitted to propose plea agreements to the Court. Judges and magistrates are not required to accept agreements. Prosecutors not only recommend what charges the Court should accept, but they may also propose separate recommendations about sentencing. Things like probation, community service, diversion programs, and deferred judgments, are other important factors which can come up in an overall plea agreement. Understanding how these things can impact your life is not a simple matter.
When Collateral Consequences are Great, You Need an Attorney’s Advice
As I have stepped through the plea discussion process with many clients over the years, I have gained a sense of respect for everyone placed in a position to decide whether to go to trial or to take a plea. Too many personal factors come into play for anyone to judge a person in making that difficult choice. I only make one strong recommendation: If you are faced with the decision to fight or take a deal, you should not do it without the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The average person is no match for a Deputy District Attorney who wants to convict you in order to advance her career.
Whatever charges you may be facing, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.