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Plea Offers For First Offenders

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

When it comes to first offenders, they are probably the most likely to be manipulated by the government in the handling of their criminal case. We have called law enforcement officers and corrections officers in jails and in some counties, even pre-trial release personnel who have been giving people legal advice. Giving people legal advice when one is not a lawyer is what is known as unlicensed practice of law. The people who are giving this unlicensed legal advice are not exactly in the defendant’s best interest or on their side. When people go to court on their own, they almost never likely to get the best plea offer.

The state attorney knows that large numbers of people are going to go to misdemeanor arraignment court, whether it’s a criminal traffic violation such as the DUI or driving on license suspended, or is a non-traffic related misdemeanor offense such as possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia or battery assault and the domestic violence variations of those crimes. Since they know that the individuals coming to the courthouse are not prepared in terms of having sufficient knowledge about the law other than a brief internet search, they do not routinely offer them the best plea offer. When you have legal counsel involved, suddenly the plea offers get better. However, there is great effort to avoid criminal defendants from exercising their rights to legal counsel.

If the state attorney’s office can dangle a carrot with more promise than what it delivers in front of a criminal defendant and the criminal defendant takes it, that’s good for the state attorney but not very good for the person. The classic example of that is where someone have to enter a no contest plea in order to participate in some form of diversion program, that has so many hoops and requirements for the individual to jump through, it almost looks like it’s designed for them to fail. If, for some reason, they don’t jump and clear each and every single hoop through a diversion program, then in many of these cases, instead of having their charges dismissed, as they had hoped, people find out that they have lost their right to trial and that they are going to jail.

How Do Prior Records Affect Sentencing?

When it comes to Florida Courts. I have had more than one case where somebody would have a DUI that was well outside of the 30-day minimum under the DUI statute for a third offense DUI or the 5-year, minimum mandatory 10 days in jail under the same DUI statute and yet the person finds himself with a plea offer that contains 3 times as much jail. They are stunned by this. They are even more stunned if they made the mistake of self-representation and find out about all of that jail time the hard way in the courtroom when they’ve entered a plea of no contest and they’re taken out the back door.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

For more information on Plea Offers For First Offenders, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 850-423-0035 today.

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“"This is actually one of the best law firms I've had the pleasure of dealing with. They stick with you throughout the entire process, walking you through every step and they know the law! They were able to help me get out of a situation that had occurred because of a technicality and was very knowledgeable in the process. I would recommend them to anyone."”

James S.

“"Such a great service to go through when dealing with any legal matter! Mr. Cobb is very knowledgable and will take the time to understand and communicate with you in a timely manner."”

Dreeana A.

“"Everything was great and smooth working with Mr. Cobb. He was fast and efficient and answered any questions I had."”

Joshua T.

“"I would recommend Attorney Cobb to others. I would describe him as an honest and straightforward lawyer. All my concerns were addressed."”

Crystal H.

“"He was excellent, he did everything without me having to do much especially not living close. I hired him and told him everything and he did it all and it was a great experience. The legal assistant that works there was also amazing."”

Joseph S.

“"It was as clean of a process as it could have been for me. He handled everything for me because I live out of state and made it so simple and easy. He was great and thorough and I hardly had to do anything."”

William S.

“"If you can hire Stephen as your attorney then definitely do that. He talked openly and gave me assurance and even his legal assistant that works there is amazing. I never had any problems or trouble with them."”

Lonnie M.

“"I have used other lawyers in the past. I was facing years but left court with probation and a suspended sentence. Thank you and god bless you."”

Jason

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