Following a robbery arrest, there are many things that an individual must consider. One of the most important things to consider is what they are going to plead. The plea options in Manassas robbery cases depend on the facts of the case. Depending on the severity of the offense and certain mitigating or aggravating factors, pleading guilty could actually be beneficial.
It is difficult to make these decisions alone which is why it is important to work with a qualified robbery attorney. A lawyer could examine the facts of an individual’s case and determine what plea option works best for them. If an individual has been charged with robbery, they should seek the services of a skilled robbery lawyer and know that they are in capable hands.
Different Plea Options
It is important to be aware of the different plea options in Manassas robbery cases, especially since they vary based on the facts of the case. Going back to the idea that there is the one robbery statute in Virginia, the statute covers so many things that it is hard to tell what exactly would happen. If it is a taking property with a threat of force, for example, that is fairly slight and some of those charges could be downgraded to larceny charges.
Depending on the value of the item, that was taken, the person could face petty larceny or grand larceny charges. If the assault factor is the main one that the Commonwealth attorneys are worried about, it would be a scenario where that charge is amended to assault and battery or it could be a trespass if the facts of the case are petty.
It would be trespass with some sort of a different disposition where a case gets continued for a period of time, the defendant is asked to comply with a few requirements, and then come back. The case would get either dismissed or downgraded. It varies by the types of pleas that are available. If there is more than one charge, one of them could get dropped and one could stay and carry the penalty.
Factors to Consider Before Pleading Guilty
Before pleading guilty, a person has to understand what they are pleading guilty to. If they are downgrading to larceny, it is important for the defendant to understand that this is still a crime of dishonesty or a crime of honesty. The violent aspect of the crime is taken out, but the crime could still hinder their ability to find certain jobs in the future. If grand larceny, it is a felony. Some versions of larceny are felonies and could stay on the person’s record for forever.
The individual has to keep in mind certain factors, like what kind of plea deal it is, what the consequences are regarding penalty or punishment, how long are they going to spend on active jail sentence, how much is the suspended jail sentence, how long is that being suspended for, and how is all of that going to affect their lives.
If they are being asked to pay a fine or pay restitution to the victim, how much is that and how is it going to impact their finances. Also, how is this going to impact their career and how is this going to impact their status.
Elements of the Charge
It is helpful to understand exactly what the elements of the charge are that they are pleading guilty to, what the consequences are, and what the possibilities are for expungement. With a dismissal, there could be a chance that the charge could be expunged and taken from the person’s arrest records forever, and fingerprinting could be destroyed in the future.
An individual should also be aware of what kind of penalties come with a guilty plea and what the sentence being imposed is. A lot of times there is a suspended sentence. For instance, a five-year term that is being imposed but three years could be suspended. It is also helpful to know how long that suspension is going to be. Usually, that is contingent upon a period of good behavior. It is also helpful to know what kind of effect it would have on the person’s status in the U.S.
The last thing an individual should consider before accepting a plea deal is the possibility for expungement and how long the offense could stay on their record. They have to think about all of those different things at the same time and assess all of it as opposed to going to trial and determining their chances of winning. If they go to trial, they need to consider what the chances of them losing are, which would later drive them to make a deal.
Plea Bargaining Without a Lawyer
It is very difficult to plea bargain without an attorney. They can try to find out who the Commonwealth attorney is on the case and try to present their facts. At that point in the case, the lawyers may be in mitigation conversations where the defendant would just have to say what their scenario was, what drove them to do what they did, whether they tried to seek any treatment or any counseling, and if they tried to make the victim whole or provide them money for what happened. Those would be some of the things that a defendant would try to tell the Commonwealth attorney at this point.
Difficulty of Working With a Commonwealth Attorney
It is difficult to work with a Commonwealth attorney because the attorney cannot jump out of their role and try to do what is best for the defendant. They have to represent the interests of the government. While they may accommodate the fact that the defendant is representing themselves, they cannot abandon their role as someone who should be looking out for the government, meaning they are not going to prioritize giving the defendant a good deal. While they may work with the defendant a little bit, their primary concern is representing the government, which means that the defendant has to represent their own interests and may need to have an attorney that is familiar with the different plea options in Manassas robbery cases by their side.
Importance of Working With a Manassas Robbery Attorney
It is important to know exactly what a plea deal entails, what is the person pleading guilty to, what are the consequences, and what are the possibilities for expungements. All of these are in the purview of a lawyer. For that reason, a defendant needs a lawyer by their side when making those decisions.
An individual needs a good practicing attorney that can is aware of the different plea options in Manassas robbery cases and can help the defendant select the option that is best for them. If an individual has been charged with robbery and is considering taking a plea deal, they should consult a knowledgeable robbery attorney that can help them make the right decisions.
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