A. Maybe, but before you accept a plea bargain, consult with a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. Individuals accused of crimes often feel pressured to accept the very first offer. However, frequently, an experienced criminal defense attorney can get a significantly better offer or beat the charges.

A. Yes! The system is set up to pressure the accused to accept a plea bargain. If you are innocent, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to present your case and prove that you are not guilty.

A. Once the prosecutor has filed charges, the prosecutor controls the case; it is out of the victim’s hands. The victim cannot stop the case from going forward. However, a skilled criminal defense attorney can use the victim’s desire not to prosecute to your benefit.

A. The prosecution looks at the facts, your criminal history, and the potential crimes that you could be charged with. Sometimes, the prosecution will “overcharge” you with more crimes than they can actually prove. The strategy behind overcharging is to try to get you to scare you into accepting a lousy plea bargain. An experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can fight against excessive charges to get them reduced or dropped.

A. Under some circumstances, yes. Bail reduction depends upon a number of factors, such as the seriousness of the allegations and the potential danger to the community. A good Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can advise you as to the likelihood of getting your bail reduced.

A. Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys typically charge flat fees (meaning a set fee, as opposed to charging you by the hour). The amount that an attorney costs depends on many factors, such as the complexity of the case, the seriousness of the charges, and the stage of the case.

A. Do not ask your loved one “what happened” on the phone or during a visit. The lines and visits are recorded, and the prosecution really does listen. You should consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney before the first court date, if possible, to make sure that the case starts out on the right track.

A. The first date is called an “arraignment.” This is where the accused finds out what the charges against him/her are and (in general) pleads not guilty. The defense (usually) gets a copy of the police report and can then sets the case for a status date. If the accused is out on bail, his or her attorney should be prepared to argue against a bail increase. (Bail increases are rare, but since the result is the accused going to jail, it is important to be prepared.)