I was charged with a 001 Battery: cohab/noncohab (does the 001 mean degree 1?) and I've read up on the maximum penalty for this charge in my state (California). Also, this is my first offense.
Without getting into too much detail which may not be all that useful, I would like to learn how do I go about negotiating a deal? I think it is likely that I will get a probation, a fine, and be forced to take some sort of anger management class.
I am more concerned about my record, and if convicted of a misdemeanor, it may affect my professional livelihood. I am 22 y/o, a recent graduate from a prestigious university, and will be attending graduate school (PhD) at another well-known institution. I am concerned that 1) this may jeopardize my enrollment in grad school- I want to ask what their policy is, but I also don't want to bring it up in case they wonder why I'm asking; and 2) I am afraid that the misdemeanor on my record will prevent me from obtaining employment (I plan to teach/research at the university level).
I want to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor, not necessarily to have the case dropped, but maybe reduced to an infraction. If that's not possible, I know there are some expungement options. Also, does a A&B misdemeanor clear itself off the record after a certain # of years (like a traffic violation)? If not, is this something I can negotiate?
Finally, to my real questions:
1) How do I plea if I want to negotiate a deal?
2) I have been advised to hire an attorney, however, the fee is on the order of $2500 whereas the maximum fine for the crime is no more than $1000. Doesn't make a lot of financial sense unless I can for sure get it reduced to an infraction.
3) I've read something about pleading guilty at first, serve probation, then change plea to not guilty, and this way the conviction doesn't show on the record (but the charge stays on the record regardless, correct?), is there a special terminology for this, and how do I go about negotiating?
4) How likely is it to negotiate and get my ideal results (no misdemeanor on record)? What do I do if they say no?
5) In my case, my girlfriend of many years is the victim. She regrets the incident and also prefers that I suffer no additional penalties (she feels that time served in detention was enough punishment for me), is there something on her part that she could do to help my situation?
Thanks in advance, I would like to do this on my own without an attorney if possible. If that's not possible I will definately seek professional aid.