Advocate Dor Meshulam (Editor: Ziv Steiner)
Traffic offenses are discussed in a legal procedure which is a criminal procedure for all intents and purposes.
A plea deal, or plea agreement, is an agreement between the accused and the prosecution, in which the accused admits to the facts attributed to him as part of the agreement and in return usually receives a reduction in his sentence.
A plea deal made professionally is also the one that usually explains why one driver receives a harsher punishment while another driver, the one who reached the settlement, receives a significantly lighter punishment for the exact same offense.
Attorney Dor Meshulam from the Meshulam Gilad law firm, who specializes in traffic law, explains what is the advantage of plea bargaining in traffic cases and how the evidentiary failures in the prosecution file are used to cast doubt on the commission of the offense by the accused.
A paid attorney, what is a plea agreement in traffic cases?
"A plea agreement in a traffic trial is actually an attempt by the parties to reach an agreement outside the walls of the court. If the parties reach an agreement, they will sign the plea agreement that will be presented to the court on the day of the hearing. Of course, the court does not rubber stamp and is not bound by the agreement we reached, but experience shows that if We made the plea deal professionally, the court will usually accept the agreement and honor it."
Attorney Meshulam adds that many are mistaken in thinking that this is an undesirable procedure, but in his opinion it is a legitimate and even desirable procedure, which is consistently supported by the courts in their rulings.
When do we reach a plea agreement in traffic cases?
"We strive to reach a plea agreement in every case. This is also usually what does happen and every day we present plea agreements to the courts. This is true for a serious car accident case as a simple speeding offense case. Both sides know how to speak the same language and there is no point in wasting precious judicial time , the time of the parties and a waste of precious resources from the public purse, when it is possible to assess the state of the evidence in the case and how it will affect the chances of the parties in a future legal proceeding."
"Obviously, a plea agreement is actually a win-win situation" (Photo: ShutterStock)
How do you do it?
"In order to do so, we will present to the prosecution the evidentiary failures that we found in the case and try to reach agreements. To the extent that the degree of failure is significant and there is doubt about the defendant's guilt, the prosecution will adjust its position. In most cases, the evidentiary failures that we presented in the case will lead to the correction of the indictment and a significantly reduced sentence to the prosecution's original penal position." .
The evidentiary failures that a paid attorney talks about are many and varied and may depend on the way the police officer works in relation to police procedures, an electronic enforcement measure that was used outside of the instructions and procedures, evidence that was in the prosecution's possession and was not presented, and more. The attorney will also make claims regarding procedures
, Evidence laws, statute of limitations, etc. The defense attorney's familiarity with the ruling and with the other parties involved in the case - the prosecutor and the judge - allows him to assess in advance how easy the plea deal can be and what its components will be.
According to Adv. Meshulam, in most cases, the defendant's interest is to reach a plea deal, both because this will save him valuable time and a lot of money, and mainly because a plea deal frees him from the uncertainty of the final verdict in court. Adv. Meshulam explains: "
Obviously that a plea agreement is actually a win-win situation - to reach a situation where both parties receive a result they can live with and waive the risk of the court's decision, and in addition uphold the public interest."
In what cases is it not possible to reach an agreed settlement when it comes to traffic cases and what happens in such cases?
"We will not reach an agreement when we have presented evidentiary failures and the prosecution on the other hand does not appreciate those difficulties eye to eye with us. It happens, for example, that we think there is a fundamental failure to the point of canceling the charge and closing the case against the accused, but the prosecution does not agree to close the case. When we assess that in light of the evidentiary situation together with The additional related factors, the outcome of the trial will be better for the accused than the prosecution's proposal, or when the accused has nothing to lose, we will advise the accused to conduct the case, of course after we explain to him the risks involved."
Lawyer Dor Meshulam (photo: Public Relations)
Why is it better to reach a plea agreement instead of being tried before the traffic court and what are the risks you mentioned?
"Conducting a legal proceeding is like a battlefield. You know how you enter, but you can't know how you will exit. We would prefer to end a case with a plea agreement for the simple reason that in a plea agreement both parties buy a risk. The accused will receive a lighter sentence and in most cases even have the charge section amended to a less severe one , and the prosecution will avoid the risk that the accused will be acquitted and will save itself many precedents and resources, which it will use in other cases."
Adv. Meshulam adds and explains: "When conducting a trial, witnesses take the stand, testify and are cross-examined.
Many times, testimony in the courtroom and even the defendant's own testimony can complicate his situation and correct an evidentiary flaw that exists in the case before the trial, or alternatively, on the part of the prosecution, its witness may testify in a way that will lead to the acquittal of the defendant.
Once we reach a professional settlement,
According to Attorney Meshulam, "We have the ability to reach a settlement and, as mentioned, reduce the risk in favor of the accused".
Many times a specific element in the prosecution's position for punishment is important to the accused. For example, that no points be recorded for his duty at the licensing office, the reduction of the fine or the actual cancellation of the disqualification. "In most cases" , Attorney Meshulam emphasizes, "We will be able to reach agreements with the prosecution so that the punishment will not include the specific component, thereby ensuring that the accused will receive a punishment that is as convenient for him as possible, in light of the evidentiary situation in the case."
Does a plea deal in a traffic case reduce the punishment or make the punishment lighter?
"As I said, the plea agreement usually anticipates the outcome of the trial and calculates risks so that in any case we guarantee that the result will be the best for the defendant that can be achieved in light of the evidentiary situation in the case. This, while weighing the other circumstances of the case - for example the age and past of the driver, circumstances for severity or loudness and even identity The plaintiff or the identity of the judge. Our job is to collect the highest possible 'price' from the prosecution, for the accused, for any failure or mitigating circumstance we presented to the prosecution. This means that the accused will usually get a better result in every parameter."
Serious offenses, traffic accidents or those involving new drivers or drivers with a burdensome past, may sometimes result in a significant punishment that includes prolonged license suspension, heavy fines and even actual imprisonment.
Why is it recommended that the defendant be represented by a traffic attorney and not act alone?
According to attorney Meshulam, "only in rare cases can the defendant be recommended to act alone in order to reach a plea agreement with the prosecution or to represent himself in court proceedings.
In most other cases, the accused may harm himself.
The rules for conducting criminal proceedings are fixed by law and an unrepresented defendant does not know them.
From this he may give, for example, a version that will complicate his situation, many times in good faith, or confess to crimes in the hope that this will arouse empathy towards him and work in his favor, even when the state of the evidence in the case before his confession does not at all allow him to be convicted of what is attributed to him.
According to Attorney Meshulam, "When we approach the lawsuit to negotiate, we first copy the evidence in the lawsuit file.
We study it thoroughly down to the comma and full stop level.
As a rule, that's where the main game takes place.
A defendant will not necessarily know how to find the failures we talked about, will not know how to assess them correctly and will not correctly assess their weight.
The accused alone will also not know what is right to do or not to do in light of the rules and circumstances, so that they will act in his favor in order to obtain a favorable result in court."
In conclusion, Attorney Meshulam says: "In order to obtain a favorable result for the accused, a broad perspective is required down to the small details and on his side A thorough understanding of the law, rulings and practice in the field. In addition, familiarity with the other factors involved is required and most importantly, the experience of knowing what to do with all of these, when and how."
If you have received a traffic report or summons,
To the Mesholam Gilad attorney's office, which specializes in traffic cases, in order to receive initial advice on the matter,
go to the firm's Legal website page. The
article is courtesy of Zap Legal.
The information presented in the article does not constitute legal advice or a substitute for it, nor does it constitute a recommendation for taking procedures or avoiding procedures. Anyone who relies on the information appearing in the article does so on his sole responsibility
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Plea settlement in traffic court