I will premise this blog by saying that this result will probably only make sense to someone who is similarly situated and he or she will realize what a great result this was.
I represent a client who was charged with a 2nd degree aggravated assault. He had a criminal record that included several other arrest and convictions for aggravated assault. At the time he was arrested, he was on probation for assault. 2nd degree aggravated assault is a NERA offense (no early release) which means that the defendant will have to do 85% of any time imposed, typically a 7 with an %85. In addition to his probation, he also had two municipal court simple assault matters pending.The facts of the 2nd degree charge were not good either, serious personal injury.
At the PIC conference in the Superior Court, I was able to negotiate a monster deal and the State recommended straight probation and downgraded the offense. This was a spectacular result given the facts of the case and the prior record, probation, pending charges, etc…but the story does not end there.
Just days after the plea was entered, my same client was involved in another incident and was once again charged with 2nd degree aggravated assault. Now, given the situation, you could ask any lawyer and they would tell you that the plea offer would not be good, 8 with and %85 to run consecutive (that means in addition) to any other charges or probation violations (getting into that 10 yr range).
We went in on the PIC conference on the new 2nd degree charge and (given the facts of the underlying case along with all the other issues) negotiated an unbelievable plea, so much so that the judge specifically talked about how good the deal was on the record
He pleaded guilty to a lesser offense assault charge with a 3 flat (eligible for parole in 9 months) with the sentence to run concurrent (that means together or at the same time) to any other pending charges. He essentially avoided probably 6 additional years in state prison. My client was very happy with the plea deal as was his family.
Obviously, you set out on every defense case to get a not guilty verdict. But when the facts are not there for your client, and the exposure is massive (as it was here) a plea like this is a real success story.
If you are in a similar position, you may realize this. If you are just embarking on your 2nd degree assault defense, remember, each case is different, each persons background is different, and no two cases are completely alike. 2nd degree assault are very serious crimes, but are frequently over charged. On many occasions I have represent people charged with 2nd degree assault and had the case remanded to the municipal court to be adjudicated as a simple assault. On other occasions, assault charges have to go to trial. If you have questions, you should give me a call.