Page 30 - 2011 Guide to Family Violence Laws

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25
PRE-TRIAL CONFERENCE AND
PLEA NEGOTIATIONS
After the arraignment there may be
a number of additional court dates.
During this time the prosecutor and
defense attorney, or the defendant if
he is representing himself, will
discuss the case and a possible plea
bargain. The defendant will decide
which offer, if any, made by the
prosecutor he will accept. These
may include having the charges
dismissed or "nolled", pleading
guilty, or going to the Family
Violence Education Program or
other pre-trial program. If the
defendant does not agree to
anything the prosecutor has offered
then his case may go to trial.
What can victims do during
this time?
You can speak to the
prosecutor, the Family Violence
Victim Advocate or Family
Relations Counselor about
what you want the prosecutor
to offer the defendant during
the pre-trial conference
negotiations
.
DISPOSITION OF A CASE THAT IS
NOT
GOING TO TRIAL
If the charges are dismissed
or nolled, the court process
ends.
If the defendant goes to the
Family Violence Education
Program, the case will be
dismissed if he successfully
completes the program and
asks for the dismissal.
If the defendant pleads guilty
to a misdemeanor, he will be
sentenced immediately; if he
pleads guilty to a felony, he
will be sentenced within one
month or sooner.
What can victims do during
this time?
Before the judge decides what the
sentence will be, you can write to
the prosecutor handling the case
or make an oral statement in
court.