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Some Factors Considered in Negotiating a Plea Bargain in a Tulsa Criminal Case

General Factors Considered by the Tulsa County District Attorneys in Negotiating a Plea Bargain
by Glen R. Graham, Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney, Tulsa, Oklahoma
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In a recent newsletter mailed out by the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office, see link at: http://www.da.tulsacounty.org - November 2008, issue, there is one article that lists some of the factor's which the Tulsa District Attorney's consider in negotiating a plea which include the following:
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* The nature and degree of the offense(s);
* Any possible mitigating circumstances;
* Criminal history of defendant;
* Mental state of the defendant;
* Sufficiency of admissible evidence to support a verdict;
* Any provisions for restitution;
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Prosecutors also consider witnesses:
* Availability and willingness to testify;
* Any physical or mental impairment;
* Certainty of indentification;
* Credibility;
* Relationship with defendant;
* Possible improper motive;
* Age of the witness;
* Undue hardship caused by testifying.
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Prosecutors consider victims:
* Existence and extent of physical injury and emotional trauma suffered;
* Economic loss suffered by the victim.
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"In every prosecution, justice and public safety are our primary considerations."
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"We confer with victims before an agreement is reached, if at all possible, and work hard to ensure that justice is served when the evidence and facts allow it. Many times a plea saves victims the emotional toll and uncertain outcome of a trial."
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"The community benefits from plea agreements because a guilty plea conserves resources and results in a quick disposition of a case. A guilty plea also means the defendant acknowledges guilty and assumes responsibility for his or her conduct."
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"The strength of the prosecution, therefore, rests not on whether the defendant actually committed the crime charged but rather on the evidence to prove that the defendant did."
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It is always helpful to have some general understanding of what factors the prosecutor is considering when attempting to negotitate an acceptable plea bargain.
This article did not specify all of the factor that the prosecutor may consider. It does not say which factors are more important than other factors. In balancing all of these factors and other unstated factors, it is sometimes difficult to anticipate which factor will gain more importance than other factors.
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For instance, there are multiple alternative courts now designed for specific types of offenses and according to multiple other factors that may or may not be included in this article. The new Tulsa County Veterans Court which may begin November or December of 2008, is a brand new type of plea bargaining process and a special kind of category designed for unique circumstances. Some veterans may be suffering from various adjustment disorders and post trauma stress disorders and certain emotional and psychological problems and some may have traumatic brain injury and others may suffer drug and or alcohol problems or general adjustment problems.
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The new Tulsa Mental Health Court for certain non-violent criminal offenses is also a new alternative court designed to offer a unique treatment approach to the traditional punishment mode of the traditional court system.
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The new Tulsa Accelerated Accountability Docket and the new Tulsa Community Sentencing Court are also available on a case by case basis for certain specific categoris of non-violent offenses and offers an alternative to the traditional incarceration approach.
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The Tulsa Drug Court and the Tulsa DUI Court are available on a case by case basis for certain drug and alcohol offenders and offers an intensive treatment approach as an alternative to the traditional incarceration or more punitive approaches.
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Alternative approaches for certain non-violent offenses and for certain non-violent offenders are providing new and alternative avenues for plea bargaining to avoid incarceration and to attempt to obtain real lasting change and rehabilitation while saving substantial tax dollars associated with incarceration costs.
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A good discussion of Tulsa's new alternative courts is available at:

2 comments:

Glen Graham said...

The Link to the Tulsa County District Attorney Web site is: http://www.da.tulsacounty.org and their newsletter may eventually be posted on it.

Criminal Defense Lawyer Fort Lauderdale said...

Thanks for share your great blog with us.