Q: The commonwealth has filed multiple charges against someone and have gone through all pre-trial phases of the process to the point that a jury trial is scheduled in criminal court. There were some negotiations that took place during the pre-trial process. The defense refused to plea. Now that the DA’s office will have to prepare for the case. Is it still typical that there are negotiations? Or once the case is prepared for is it more likely that it goes to trial? I know there is no concrete answer to this just curious of what the odds maybe? (South Park, PA)
A: Plea agreements have even been entered during a trial. Yes, a negotiated settlement is always a possibility no matter if the Commonwealth has prepared their case and have their witnesses under subpoena.
Q: How influential is your lawyer supposed to be in negotiating with the Prosecutor. 19 yr old son getting charged with a four felony 1 burglaries, which were dropped to two felony 2 burglary charges. How do we know if our appointed lawyer is really doing the best? Are they the ones that are supposed to be negotiating with the prosecutor or do they have no say in it as our son tells us?
A: Any lawyer, PD, or court appointed attorney, has equal standing in court. Each has the role of being able to negotiate freely with the DA for plea agreements. You need to talk to the lawyer. Open communication has to occur. I can’t advise you because I don’t know all the facts. Maybe the attorney is telling you that the deal he is getting is the best he can do. If you are not content with the deal he has struck with the DA, you have some limited, one of which is to fire him and hire a private counsel. I suggest that you talk to your son’s lawyer.