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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default How Long Does it Take to Negotiate a Plea Bargain

    On behalf of a friend here, her attorney (private pay), keeps continuing her cases. She has a lot of pending charges that are misdemeanor (traffic) with some being felony (drug - marijuana). The lawyer feels that a plea deal can be reached that would give her the strictest of probation (no jail time). She has been in jail for 3 months as her attorney attempts to sit down / meet with the prosecutor to discuss. Each time her family touches base with the lawyer, they get the same response - the lawyer is trying to get with the prosecutor who has been real busy handling trial cases, the prosecutor went on vacation, the prosecutor is in court, etc. It seems as though the lawyer, who appears to be very busy with cases herself, is not making her client, my friend, a priority, since my friend is in jail. The family is having regrets hiring this attorney due to some other issues that raise the question of professionalism, but they cannot afford to retain another attorney and aren't sure if a public defender(s) may hurt or help things more?

    How long does it typically take a lawyer and prosecutor to reach plea agreements?
    What is involved in doing so?
    Why is her attorney continuing her cases? The attorney has been continuing one of her cases since June (for a charge that was incurred in January 2014)
    What can my friend do to help her case while she sits in jail? I suggested to her that she get into church services or bible studies while in there, get a mental evaluation if possible, drug and alcohol classes if offered, and any other classes or activities that she can get involved with, mainly to help herself and hopefully the judge / prosecutor will look favorably on? Not sure if they offer these in jail?

    Any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,250

    Default Re: How Long Does it Take to Negotiate a Plea Bargain

    Unlike what you see on TV, prosecutors in a large city spend most of their time in court and have very little free office time. Similarly, criminal defense attorneys may find themselves jumping from courthouse to courthouse on any given day trying to represent multiple clients.

    Between the two of them, trying to connect by phone, let alone find spots in their calendars where both can sit down and cut a plea deal isn't as hard as winning the lottery, but sometimes it feels that way.

    As strange as it may seem, the one benefit to your friend is the amount of time she is spending in jail. Her attorney can offer this as time served credit to minimize any further penalties that may be involved in a plea deal.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: How Long Does it Take to Negotiate a Plea Bargain

    If her family does decide to post her bail, she would be on an ankle monitor (not house arrest). Is it possible for the time spent with an ankle monitor be used as a credit towards time served?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,262

    Default Re: How Long Does it Take to Negotiate a Plea Bargain

    Is it possible? Yes, it's possible.

    Is it guaranteed? No.

    And really, the answers are not going to change from board to board. It's going to take as long as it takes. There is no "average" length of time; there are far too many variable factors that go into it.

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