Plea Bargaining: 771.1
If you have been charged with a crime in Michigan, including retail fraud (shoplifting), possession of marijuana, domestic violence, driving with a suspended license, or operating while intoxicated (OWI), your first step into the judicial process will be an arraignment. This is where you are told the formal charges against you and what your bond will be. Next, the court sets a pretrial conference date. If you don’t have a lawyer or a good lawyer, the prosecutor has little incentive to offer a very good plea bargain. The prosecutor is not your attorney and does not have your best interests at heart. The prosecutor’s job is to seek convictions and punishment. With a good attorney, the prosecutor might make a favorable plea offer and one example of that would be a plea under 771.1. He or she often has many cases to resolve in a limited amount of time and plea deals are often an effective way of dispatching defendants with lawyers who are known to put of a fight for their clients.
The beauty of a plea under 771.1 is that, in some courts, the case will be dismissed at the conclusion of the probationary period, assuming the defendant complies with the conditions of probation. This is a terrific outcome for people who realize that they made a mistake and are prepared to take some punishment for their actions but hope to keep their records clean. In less lenient jurisdictions and in more serious situations, 771.1 can also be used for a reduction in charge or to justify a reduction in a sentence. Though not as ideal as an outright dismissal, using the 771.1 delayed sentencing mechanism can minimize the damage created by conviction of a crime or a more severe crime.
It’s worth noting that 771.1 is not available to those those charged with murder, treason, criminal sexual conduct in the first or third degree, armed robbery, or major controlled substance offenses. An experienced criminal defense lawyer would be able to give you an honest assessment of your case and chances of obtaining a plea bargain including a delayed sentenced under MCR 771.1.
Is a 771.1 Plea Right for Me?
If you are looking up information about 771.1, you are probably someone who needs to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. If you have a lawyer and you are doing your own research, that may mean you suspect your attorney is not doing everything possible to protect you. An offer of a deal can be the result of the government attempting to operate more efficiently or realization by the prosecutor that you are not likely to be involved in a future criminal act. An offer of a deal might also indicate that the prosecution does not believe it has a strong case against you, meaning you may be entitled to a dismissal. The reputation and track-record of your lawyer will be carefully considered by the prosecutor when he or she is fashioning a plea offer. This is why you need to hire a professional.
The attorneys at Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C. have the education, expertise, and tenacity to help you determine the best course forward. They will first seek out a dismissal if one is possible. If the prosecution has a strong case and the client desires a plea bargain, the firm’s attorneys will determine what leverage exists to structure favorable a deal with the prosecution. If you have a case in Oakland County, Wayne County, Macomb County, or elsewhere in Michigan and are in need of a criminal defense attorney, call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at 248-263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form so that we can start working on your case immediately. We will find a way to help you.
“We are not afraid to win!”
LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.