Federal Pretrial Status
When charged with a federal crime, newcomers to the criminal justice system feel lost, confused and helpless. Lawyers, Pretrial Service Officers, plea agreements, prison sentences, the Bureau of Prisons, and many other issues need to be learned and understood immediately in order to make the best decisions in the coming weeks and months. Trouble is, nobody is an expert in these areas during their first exposure to the system.
We at PCR Consultants have years of experience in each of these areas and can greatly help smooth the process and create better outcomes.
You many not be an expert, but basic information is a great place to start. Here is a crash course on the basics.
Here are some statistics for you.
93.6% of federal criminal cases end in a guilty plea (6.4% go to trial)
75.6% of those that go to trial (the 6.4% left) are found guilty
97% of all criminal defendants are therefore sentenced
**82.8% of all federal defendants get prison sentences**
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics
What lawyers normally do:
First and foremost a lawyer lands a client by assuring them how strong their case is.
Second, (s)he files a bunch of motions to keep his client out of incarceration while awaiting trial (pretrial status).
Third, (s)he waits to see what the prosecution plans to do, then reacts.
Fourth, the lawyers changes his tune and convinces the client to take a plea bargain.
This usually occurs for a few reasons. 1) Prosecutors win over three-quarters of the cases that go to trial. 2) With a plea agreement the lawyer keeps his entire retainer for the least amount of hours worked.
Lastly, the lawyer submits a bunch of motions to convince the judge to hand out the shortest sentence possible (motions for downward departure). Once sentence is passed down, most lawyers shake hands with their client and say, “Good-bye.” Sometimes the defendant is allowed to report themselves to prison, but other times are taken into custody immediately.
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