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  1. #1
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    Question Plea Bargain a Felony to a Misdemeanor

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: California

    My girlfriend and I got in a heated argument the other night, iinvolving a few drinks, which ended in her attacking my and scratching my neck and face. I was scared for her own safety since she seemed to have temporarily lost her mind. I called the police and next thing I know, she is facing felony charges for domestic violence. Since the argument, we have decided not to work out our differences, we both want to seperate, however, I do still care for her well-being. She just graduated from a good college and should have a lot to look forward to; it would devestate me to know her life was ruined over a single mistake.
    The scratching left nothing more than a few painless marks on my neck; HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY BE CONSIDERED A FELONY!?! Due to the lack of severity, is there any way she could get out of this without the felony? Also, many of the other forums stated that first offenders often receive a differed judgement without jailtime; is this true for felonies or only misdemeanors? I do believe she needs some help and counseling, but a felony with jailtime seems excessive. I just want to see this handled in a just and fair manner. Please, I need advice. Is this something that is possible?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Plea Bargain a Felony to a Misdemeanor

    Quote Quoting hedgehog23
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    The scratching left nothing more than a few painless marks on my neck; HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY BE CONSIDERED A FELONY!?!
    Because Penal Code section 273.5 says it is. If there is a "traumatic condition (defined as "a condition of the body, such as a wound or external or internal injury, whether of a minor or serious nature, caused by a physical
    force") then the offense is a felony.

    Due to the lack of severity, is there any way she could get out of this without the felony?
    Her attorney can try to see i the prosecution will agree to a plea deal involving a misdemeanor domestic violence battery (per PC 243(e)) or some other related offense.

    I do believe she needs some help and counseling, but a felony with jailtime seems excessive.
    The most common result is anger management (counseling), probation, and fines. Also, a criminal protective order is common as well.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Plea Bargain a Felony to a Misdemeanor

    Thank you so much for the information. This is extremely helpful. I do have one more question. If she does receive a less extreme sentence such as anger managment, will she still technically be convicted of a felony? Having a felony could severly hinder her employment opportunities, so if this is avoidable in any way, we would really like to pursue that option. Is bargaining for misdemeanor assault and battery our best option then? Once again, thank you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Plea Bargain a Felony to a Misdemeanor

    Quote Quoting hedgehog23
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    If she does receive a less extreme sentence such as anger managment, will she still technically be convicted of a felony?
    Only if they convict her of PC 273.5 charged as a felony. PC 243(e)(1) is a misdemeanor, and so are all the other lesser offenses that come to mind as possible plea deal options.

    Having a felony could severly hinder her employment opportunities, so if this is avoidable in any way, we would really like to pursue that option. Is bargaining for misdemeanor assault and battery our best option then? Once again, thank you.
    Understand that there is no "we" here. This is HER issue to deal with. Her attorney can work with the DA and see what can be worked out, but you really have little to do with the mess at this point. In fact, the court is likely to issue an order preventing contact with you.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Plea Bargain a Felony to a Misdemeanor

    You and your friend need to talk or at least talk to her lawyer. Tell the lawyer that you want all charges dropped. He will convey this to the prosecutor and he can, if he chooses drop charges. It would help if your friend also had her lawyer add that she realizes that she has a drinking problem, anger problem, whatever and is taking measures to address that problem. If the state still decides to prosecute they will at the very least know that they have a very weak case with no eye witness, namely you. I am assuming it was only you and her and no others that gave the police statements.
    Throw that to her lawyer and see what he or she says. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Plea Bargain a Felony to a Misdemeanor

    Quote Quoting 394216
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    You and your friend need to talk or at least talk to her lawyer. Tell the lawyer that you want all charges dropped. He will convey this to the prosecutor and he can, if he chooses drop charges. It would help if your friend also had her lawyer add that she realizes that she has a drinking problem, anger problem, whatever and is taking measures to address that problem. If the state still decides to prosecute they will at the very least know that they have a very weak case with no eye witness, namely you. I am assuming it was only you and her and no others that gave the police statements.
    Throw that to her lawyer and see what he or she says. Good luck.
    The state has a good case even if the victim here is reluctant. A lot depends on the DA and how hard he or she wants to pursue the matter. Right now this may be a good candidate for a plea deal. However, with visible injuries and prior statements by at least the victim - and probably the suspect as well - it is a very bad case to try and play hardball with the DA if the DA is not sympathetic.

    Remember, the state HAS a witness - namely, the victim. The victim can oppose it all he wants, but if subpoenaed he will have to testify or face jail time of his own.

    This should be a good one to deal a little, but not a good one to try and play a game of chicken with.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Plea Bargain a Felony to a Misdemeanor

    If you go to your girl friends attorney like 394216 says, the prosecutor may have a problem with your interfering with a prosecution. You could get an attorney to convey your thoughts to her defense attorney. But I think it would be a bad idea for you to do it personally.

  8. #8
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    Talking Re: Plea Bargain a Felony to a Misdemeanor

    We got the charges dropped completly!!! For anybody reading this with a similar case, in the future, it is possible. My (ex)girflriend's mother and I both spoke to the detective investigating the case. I told him that I never felt threatened by her, I was simply scared that she could get hurt during the incident. Her mother said that her family is now actively searching for a psychologist to help diagnose her anger/anxiety problems. We told the truth, showed concern, and gave solutions that would be far better for her mental health than legal prosecution. The detective, in response, recommended that her case be dropped to the prosecution. Also, I think it helped that she was not planning on moving back in with me; she would be staying with family for some amount of time at least. The detective stated that, "we are not trying to ruin peoples lives." The legal system isn't as horrible as some of the other related posts make it seem. I feel that if you treat the problem with genuine concern, the prosecution will be responsive. DV is a very serious issue, and in her case, there are clear underlying problems that caused this outburst. Try and confront the real problem, don't just try to sidestep the sentencing.
    Thanks again to those who posted advice. It was invaluable.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Plea Bargain a Felony to a Misdemeanor

    Congrats.It's a rare occurrence when the police have charged someone for those same police to recommend charges be dropped. In your case, it worked out. Good luck in the future.

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