In many criminal cases, the prosecution and defense will work together to negotiate a plea bargain that ensures that justice is served, but also considers the life and future of the defendant. In some cases, plea bargains offer reduced charges, fewer charges, or alternative sentences that are more favorable than what may be achieved through the trial process. In many cases, a successfully negotiated plea bargain can prevent the case from going to trial altogether, which is often a favorable resolution for everyone involved.
Recently, a well-known former Atlanta Hawk athlete made headlines after being granted a suspended sentence in a negotiated plea bargain. According to media accounts, the 47-year-old former NBA basketball player was involved in a 2013 automobile accident that led to the death of a woman who was in the other vehicle. Because there were previous DUI convictions on his record, police conducted tests to determine if he was intoxicated at the time of the accident, the results of which showed no indication of alcohol in his blood. He was charged with vehicular homicide based on information indicating that he suffers from seizures, and doctors had advised him against operating a vehicle for safety reasons.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys reached the negotiated plea bargain on the same day that jury selection was scheduled to begin for his case to go to trial. Originally, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but under the terms of the negotiated plea, he will serve only a portion of that time in prison. He will still be required to meet certain milestones and abstain from alcohol or drug use during this time, and will also be required to follow the terms of his probation carefully.
According to the terms of the negotiated plea, the man will serve only three years in prison and the remaining eight years on probation. In order for this agreement to stand, he must complete 1,500 hours of community service, attend Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, complete an alcohol treatment program, and refrain from operating a vehicle for the full 15 years. In light of the fact that he was charged with vehicular homicide, a very serious crime in Georgia, the suspended sentence is a much more favorable outcome than the alternative of 15 years in prison.
Find out More about Negotiated Pleas and Your Criminal Case
Negotiated pleas are one of the most helpful options for defendants to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome. In most cases, a negotiated plea does not negate criminal liability, but rather allow the defendant the option of a more favorable outcome rather than going to trial. Going to trial can be risky because the ultimate decision of innocence or guilt rests in the hands of the jury. The only way to be certain that options including a negotiated plea are available is by securing the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
At Abt Law Firm, LLC, our Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney is dedicated to examining all possible outcomes and aggressively seeking the option that is best for your legal rights, best interests, and future endeavors. Do not wait to get help with your criminal case, contact Abt Law Firm, LLC right away by calling (678) 582-2272 to set up a free consultation. Our Atlanta office serves clients throughout Georgia in a wide variety of criminal matters. No matter how complex your case may seem, we will work hard to get you results. Contact our office today to set up a consultation over the telephone, in our office, or at the jail if you are incarcerated. You can reach our office 24 hours a day, seven days per week for your ultimate convenience.