My question involves criminal law for the state of: michigan
I am at the end of a bench trial that has been continued several times since initial trial date(March 5,2008), next court date is May 5, 2008)Twice by the court and prosecution, once by my attorney(public defender). All thats is left after "victim" (8 yr old step-child) and her mother (my ex-wife) testifying, is for me to finish my testimony.(barely started)
The prosecution has offered to recommend a "delayed sentence" in exchange for a guilty plea of misdemeanor domestic vilolence(including stating it was intentional!) assault charge on my ex-step daughter.
1. 6 months probation and completion of a d.v. counseling program as conditions of dropping the charges and no conviction record.
2. Any future dv charges can be enhanced as a 2nd offence and I must pay all fines, fees and costs at sentencing
I am eligible since I have no prior assaultive charges on my record in the U.S.
My questions are:
1. Can a plea of guilty in Canada to a misdmeanor(equivalent) assault 8 years ago, (with sentence of probation) be considered a "prior" if that case was not introduced by prosecution in the trial?
2.Will I be able to have the "dropped charges" and the "temporary guilty plea" COMPLETELY erased from my record, including fingerprints? (state and federal)
2a. I am a social worker by trade, potential future plans to teach, and will soon be applying for a pardon in Canada for the 2000 plea of guilty mentioned earlier. (how will these be affected?)
3.Since the alleged victims's testimony was weak and inconsisitent with her mother's testimony on several points, has the prosecution offered this "deal" perhaps due to feeling they have a weaker chance of conviction.
4. How much should my strong personal conviction that I absolutely DID NOT unintentionally or intentionally assault my ex-step daughter factor into the decision to accept or reject the offer?
I just recieved the letter of the offer today from my lawyer, in which she did not offer any advice one wy or the other. She, as a public defender in an office of two, maybe 3, in a county of about 40,000.
5. I would like to obtain an objective legal point of view on the merits of this plea offer, and what would be in my best interest in terms of accepting or rejecting the offer.
I wouldn't want the potential or ability to "wrap this up" nice and neat for the prosecution AND the defence attorneys to be a motivating factor in being recommended to accept this plea.
Thank you for your time and assistance.