Plea Agreements in DC Gun Cases

Plea agreements in DC gun cases are worked out when the government dismisses some or most of the charges, letting the defendant plead to just one or a couple of the charges, or the charges are reduced. A common situation is when there is a felony case and the defense attorney convinces the prosecution to offer a misdemeanor plea.

In each case, a distinguished gun lawyer can initially plead not guilty on behalf of their client. When a person is first brought before the court, it makes little sense to plead guilty to the charges. The person’s attorney pleads not guilty at first when the person is brought to court and only changes the plea to guilty later when there is a reason to do so.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony

The difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is not completely night and day, but the reduced charge is significant. Perhaps there could be a plea when a person has two open cases and plea agreements in DC gun cases dismiss one case entirely if the person pleads guilty to the offense in the second case. These are all considerations as to how a case can be resolved through negotiation or litigation, but short of trial and short of pleading guilty to the initial charge.

There are different priorities and a person should consider the ramifications to pleading guilty and the potential penalties. Felony charges have the potential of prison time. Misdemeanor charges have the potential of jail time. The person must consider the chances that they might receive such a penalty before deciding to plead guilty.

Plea Deal Risks

It is important to consider that anyone who pleads guilty to a gun offense must be put on the gun offender registry in DC. Anyone considering plea agreements in DC gun cases needs to be aware of that consequence. If the person is a resident, they are on the gun offender registry for a couple of years. If they live outside of DC, they may be required to be on the gun offender registry in DC for a longer period of time.

The person must consider what pleading to a gun offense may do for security clearances and for their specific job. There are many considerations because a gun offense looks worse on a person’s record than some other offenses may. For example, a FedEx driver would probably much prefer to have a conviction for unlawful possession of ammunition charge in DC than a DUI because they cannot continue to be a FedEx driver if they have a DUI on their record.

Common DC Plea Bargains

Common plea agreements in DC gun cases for a felony gun charge attempt to have that charged reduced to a misdemeanor in exchange for a plea of guilty. When the charge begins as a misdemeanor gun charge, that is most likely handled by the Office of the Attorney General as opposed to the US Attorney’s Office. In that situation, the defense attorney may be able to secure a diversion agreement where the defendant ends up with a case with no conviction.