This is the first post in a series I will be writing on issues Phoenix defendants should consider before pleading guilty to a misdemeanor as part of a plea agreement. I have previously written on issues which arise during plea negotiations in cases involving domestic violence.The fact of the matter is that pleading guilty to any misdemeanor offense is a serious issue and Arizona residents should understand all of their options before doing so.
I will be addressing a number of topics over my coming posts. Subjects I will address include:
- The purpose of, and process for, plea bargaining
- Issues a Phoenix defendant should consider when deciding whether to enter a plea deal
- Serving probation after accepting a plea offer
- Expunging/Setting Aside one’s record after the completion of probation
This discussion is necessary as, unfortunately, many defendants enter into a plea arrangement without understanding all of the ramifications. These defendants may find themselves unable to gain employment due to their having a criminal record, unable to successfully complete probation, and surprised that they find themselves in such a dilemma. If you are charged with a misdemeanor and are considering a plea offer then it is imperative that you contact an attorney immediately.
Consulting with a criminal defense lawyer can help you to understand whether accepting a deal is in your best interests. As I will address over my coming posts, counsel can help you to determine if outright fighting the charges is in your best interests. A lawyer can also help ensure that you will fully know what to expect from probation and may be able to assist you in obtaining a better offer from prosecutors. In my opinion it is generally a mistake to accept a plea offer without first speaking with a legal representative.
My office regularly assists those charged with a misdemeanor in the Phoenix area. If you are charged with an offense then contact my office. I also represent Maricopa County defendants in Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Chandler, and Gilbert, as well as Pima County residents in Tucson.