Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP

Don’t Underestimate Plea Negotiations in Your Defense


Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can greatly impact your defense strategy. As California’s courts and jails continue to become more overburdened, the opportunity for plea bargains (or plea deals) should not be underestimated.

What Is a Plea Deal?

At its core, a plea bargain is a negotiation between the prosecutor and the defendant’s attorney. In exchange for a more favorable outcome, such as reduced charges, a reduced sentence, probation instead of jail time, or even dropped charges, the defendant generally agrees to plead guilty or no content.


As a law firm that focuses on criminal defense, we understand the important role that plea deals play in California’s state and federal courts. The law forbids plea bargains in some types of criminal cases, such as violent sex crimes. Where it is allowed, however, plea bargaining resolves a substantial number of cases.

What Factors Affect Plea Negotiations?

As in any negotiation, each party’s position is affected by the various risks, or litigation hazards, and strengths to their claim. Remember, the prosecutor must prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt for every charge. This is why we investigate and/or prepare every initial criminal defense case as if it were going to trial. With thorough preparation, investigation, and research, we can expose the weaknesses in the prosecutors’ case. Negotiations may also continue even after the trial has begun. With our aggressive courtroom style, we have been able to achieve favorable plea deals up to the last minute.

Our law firm brings over 40 years of combined criminal defense experience to every case. From initial review to trial preparation, we understand how to build a strong defense. To learn more about our criminal defense strategies, check out our firm’s website.

Source: “The Criminal Court Process,” copyright 2019, Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP

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