Virginia false negotiating barriers- Fairfax criminal lawyer comments
Virginia false criminal negotiating barriers are illusions to be disintegrated, says Fairfax criminal lawyer
Virginia false criminal negotiating barriers frequently arise with prosecutors who talk about “office policy” and criminal defense lawyers who harp about barriers to dealing with a particular commonwealth’s attorney’s office about particular kinds of prosecutions. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, numerous times I have heard colleagues talk about how a particular excellent negotiating result I have achieved goes against the tide of what can usually be accomplished in that particular courthouse. At my best, I do not let myself get distracted by such perceived barriers other than to give my clients a realistic idea of their negotiating prospects for their Virginia criminal defense.
Overcover risk even for apparently uphill battles with Virginia false criminal negotiating barriers
Virginia false criminal negotiating barriers may make some criminal defendants to think that their only choice is to accept the prosecutor’s plea offer or to go to trial. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that a third way is to simply counter the prosecutor’s plea offer. I successfully did that recently in a Northern Virginia courthouse where the chief prosecutor for years has been known to be tight-fisted about negotiating below mandatory minimum sentencing for Virginia DUI prosecutions involving blood alcohol concentration (BAC) results at 0.15 or higher, which by statute brings a five-day mandatory minimum for those convicted of such an offense.
Virginia criminal defense negotiating needs to be driven by trial readiness
In this particular Northern Virginia county, the assigned assistant commonwealth’s attorney emailed me unsolicited only two days before trial, when in Virginia District Court (other than the counties outside Northern Virginia where dealing before the trial date can sometimes be beneficial), I generally prefer only to address misdemeanor settlement negotiations on the trial date, in large part to see if the prosecutor even has his or her necessary witnesses and evidence available for trial, and to disintegrate Virginia false criminal negotiating barriers overall. Here, the prosecutor acknowledged that this case with a 0.19 BAC result that was already several months old, did not reflect an elevated BAC on the warrant of arrest charging document. The prosecutor extended an offer effectively involving three days in jail rather than five days under the mandatory minimum scheme for a BAC over 0.15 where the charging document correctly lists that threshold. That two-day jail differential was not attractive. Moreover, not attractive to everyone is having the option to have the alcohol ignition interlock device (IID) as the only restriction on driving after receiving the one-year mandatory minimum suspended driving for a Virginia DUI conviction under Virginia Code §§ 18.2-266 and 18.2-270. The prosecutor told me that if the case did not settle, he would move the court to amend my client’s warrant of arrest to reflect a BAC of at least 0.15. The prosecutor also asked me for specifics about what evidence I was seeking to suppress at trial, even though I had filed my suppression motion weeks before.
Pushing from both sides to overcover Virginia false criminal negotiating barriers
In addressing Virginia false criminal negotiating barriers, early on in defending this Northern Virginia DUI defendant, I said that obtaining a no-active jail plea deal might be an uphill negotiating battle, but that it was worth accepting the challenge. Consequently, with my advice, my client attended many documented Alcoholics Anonymous / AA meetings. From my end, I proactively filed an objection to amending the charging document against my client, fully detailing why my objection was on all fours. I also filed a brief supplement to my evidence suppression motion, not because the governing Virginia law requires written suppression motions in District Court misdemeanor and DUI cases (the law does not so require), but to cut the prosecutor off at the pass from successfully asking the judge to require me to orally articulate what evidence I was seeking to suppress and why, lest my spoken words were to have gotten mis-heard and mis-remembered.
Obtaining a no-active jail disposition against a Virginia DUI prosecution with a 0.19 BAC result
In negotiating for no active jail against my client — an in recognizing the reality of Virginia false criminal negotiating barriers — I told the prosecutor of my client’s willingness to convert the prosecutor’s proposed 180 day jail sentence (with 175 of those days suspended) to a year all suspended. The prosecutor finally agreed to that approach, together with doing 3o hours voluntary community service, after receiving my client’s documentation of many AA meetings attended, and after having received my detailed written objection to changing the warrant of arrest to reflect an alleged BAC of at least 0.15. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan Katz relentlessly pursues your best defense against Virginia DUI, misdemeanor and felony prosecutions. Learn the firepower that Jon Katz can deliver for your defense, by calling 7o3-383-1100 for your free in-person initial confidential consultation about your court-pending case.