The absolute fastest way to go to prison unnecessarily is to fall into the sucker’s trap of plea bargaining a defensible case for deferred adjudication. Over 50% of humans placed on deferred wind up in prison. There are two parts to the phrase “plea bargain.” The first is “plea,” which is what you give the government. When you plead guilty, you give up your right to a trial, your right to confront the witnesses (look them in the eye) and to cross examine the witnesses (question them to expose bias, lack of factual basis, inability to perceive…), your right to testify (tell your side) or to remain silent (make them prove the case without your help) and your right to subpoena helpful witnesses (make them attend your trial). You also give up the right to appeal your case. AND FOR WHAT?
In most cases, DEFERRED ADJUDICATION IS NO BARGAIN. Deferred subjects you to the full range of punishment should you violate your probation. If you are accused of violating your probation, its too late for a trial (you have already bargained that right away when you took deferred). You get only a hearing without a jury (the Judge alone decides your fate). The only issue is whether you did in fact violate a rule of your probation. The burden of proof in the hearing is not beyond a reasonable doubt. It is by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). Hearsay evidence of a violation is admissible in such a hearing. In short, if someone comes to court and says I read in a report that someone else said you violated your probation and the judges finds that more likely than not it is true, pack your toothbrush and your butt plug because you are going to prison.
Do not think back to the time you read this truth about deferred while you are waiting to catch the chain to prison and wonder, “What if I had fought my case? What if
I had called NORM SILVERMAN? Pick up the phone NOW, before you give up all of your most precious constitutional rights. It may be the case that the government has an airtight case against you and deferred is the best we can do. The mistake people make is taking deferred without first exhausting every chance to win. Deferred should be one of the last resorts to resolve your case – not the first. If other lawyers are telling you differently, call me and see the difference know how, investigation, and hard work can make.
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