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How To Cope with a Criminal Case in Washington

07th April 2010
By pierce county in Criminal Law
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All who have been accused of some sorts of criminal cases ever, are not borne criminal, or criminal by choice. These are just the situations, mistakes or accidents that drive them into this turmoil. But, once you are trapped in a legal mess, it is hard to lead a normal life during its tenure and even after that. You can not focus any other thing until the case has been resolved. It is quite stressful situation and sometimes breaks the person involved. If you believe you have committed a crime, even if by mistake, one of the way to resolve a case without calling for severe aftermath can be pleading guilty. There are different types of guilty pleas. State of Washington provides five of such acceptable options to plea guilty for a criminal case.

Alford Plea: this type of plea is the right option for someone who does not believe himself or herself to be guilty but finds it impossible to convince his innocence to the jury. Alford plea goes to suggest that you are not guilty but you want to avail Prosecutor's Sentencing Recommendation by pleading guilty and thus save yours as well as the Court's valuable time. By exercising Alford plea you also acknowledge that the Jury would certainly find you guilty, may be because evidences suggests so, if a trial is executed in the matter. Of course Alford Plea is not anyway different than Straight plea and they both show simple ‘G' for guilty on your file, but this spares you from accepting a crime that you didn't do at all.

Straight Plea: is as straight as its name is. Applying a Straight Plea means you accept your involvement in the crime or criminal behavior and you plead guilty for the crime as exactly as you have been accused of.

Deferred Sentence: These types of arrangements are applicable for a non-felony crime. Deferred Sentence goes to declare you to be guilty of the crime. It also proves that you have been sentenced for the crime as per rule, but after the completion of the sentence period (which can be one to two years long), conviction comes off your record and the case receives a dismissal.

Pretrial Diversion Agreement: This type of pleading arrangement is not very much in practice. Also known as Stipulated Order of Continuance, under this plea, the accused is required to sign an agreement for doing (or not doing) certain specific and relevant activities (like drinking, violation, etc) for stipulated period of time (say one or two year). In case you successfully complete the Stipulated Order of Continuance during this tenure, your charges can be reduced to a lesser penalty. For example a DUI charge can be reduced to Negligent Driving or so.

Informal Agreements: Under this process the defendant accepts to perform some reformatory actions like staying out of trouble, performing Community Services, etc for a agreed upon tenure and the Prosecutor, in turn, would amend the charges to less severity level. This Informal Agreement is almost same as SOC but is not required in writing though.

There are some other ways to get your charges lessened and reduce your fines / penalties to a considerable level, if your Criminal Lawyer has the ability to guide you through the process systematically and rightfully.

Lakewood criminal defense attorney has been providing lakewood criminal defense to people accused of sex crimes, domestic violence, child abuse since 1995.
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