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Law Office of Paul Tyler
Criminal Defense

Handling cases in Ventura County, and portions of Santa Barbara and Los Angeles Counties

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Home > Getting Charges Reduced

Getting Charges Reduced Is the Goal in All Cases We Handle

The Ventura County District Attorney’s office likes to claim that they do not plea bargain, and in some cases that is true. However in the vast majority of cases negotiations routinely take place and charges are routinely dismissed or reduced.

Aside from an outright dismissal, a reduction of charges is by far the greatest benefit a skilled criminal defense attorney can provide to you.

As a case progresses and discovery is provided by the District Attorney the facts invariably become more clearly defined. This can often mean that what was originally believed to have happened didn’t. Therefore the prosecutor may ultimately find herself prosecuting a case that she cannot prove.

In these circumstances a knowledgeable attorney can get the District Attorney to dismiss or reduce the charges.

For example, Attorney Paul Tyler recently had a case in which the defendant was charged with selling cocaine, a serious charge that carries potential prison time. However, as the case progressed it became clear that the defendant was only present at the transactions and did not participate. The law is clear that mere presence alone is insufficient to establish the offense of selling narcotics.

After negotiating with the Deputy District Attorney assigned to the case he agreed to dismiss all charges.

Likewise if there is no way to get a case dismissed, even serious charges can frequently be reduced.

For example, a recent case involved a fight in which the defendant was charged with the crime of assault with a deadly weapon, which is a “strike” felony. He was looking at prison time. However, as the facts unfolded at the preliminary hearing it became clear that the defendant may have been acting in self defense and that the alleged victim may have had a knife himself. As a result the Judge agreed to reduce the case to a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is not a strike. Therefore a strike felony with prison time was reduced to a non-strike misdemeanor with no prison.

When Paul Tyler handles a case, he always asks the same questions; (1) “Can I get this case dismissed?”; if not (2) “Can I get this case reduced”; and (3) “Can I avoid jail time for my client.”

Even if charges remain the same, many felonies are “wobblers”, which means that they can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Our experience with the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is that they often overcharge cases as felonies. This leaves the door open for Paul Tyler to get the Judge to reduce the case to a misdemeanor, which is an enormous benefit to his clients.

To learn more, and for a free evaluation and consultation on your case, please call Paul Tyler at 805-889-9000. He will answer your call personally… you will not be required to go through a secretary, paralegal or associate attorney.

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