23rd Sep 2016
The criminal justice system, in the Florida State system, can be quite complex however, a regular aspect is that an attorney for the State (a prosecutor) brings or initiates charges against individuals that are believed to have violated the law. What that means is that the whole process of criminal charges lies in the hands of the prosecutor and they have the power to aggressively pursue charges or dismiss them altogether. If the prosecutor decides to move forward with the prosecution then, ultimately, the power in the case is transferred to the judge or jury who is deciding guilt and then to the judge for sentencing if found guilty.
Because Prosecutors are the first line of opposition, so to speak, in any criminal matter, it is very important to understand how a case can be made worse or better based on the prosecutor and the negotiation process with the prosecutor. In every criminal case, the basic incentive structure is the same for the parties regardless of the actual individuals involved. The prosecutor wants a conviction at the lowest cost available, meaning least amount of time and money spent on the case. The defense attorney and defendant want the lowest charge possible and the least oppressive consequences, often at the lowest cost as well. In many cases these incentives align and a compromise can be reached where the prosecutor agrees to reduce or dismiss charges, stipulate to sentencing recommendations, or forego future prosecution in exchange for the defendant’s guilty plea.
However, in other situations no deal can be reached and it is important to note that the prosecutor is under no obligation to offer individuals a plea agreement, and depending on the prosecutor that is a scary amount of power especially if they want to be unreasonable or difficult to work with.
Finding the Right Defense Attorney
The prosecutor negotiation process is vital to any criminal defense and because of that it is very important to get a defense attorney that will fight hard for you. Because I am a former South Florida prosecutor, and with my extensive experience, I have a great relationship with many of the prosecutors meaning I know what to expect and how their office works. Call or email me today to find out how I may help you in your Miami-Dade or Broward criminal case.