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Criminal Archives

Is a Criminal "aider and abetter" treated differently?

An aider and abetter in a criminal case is just as guilty as the principal who does the crime and is subject to the same criminal penalties as the principal.  That means the getaway driver of the robbers is just as guilty as the robbers.  Anyone who "before or during the commission crime intends to aid or abet the perpetrator" and by words or conduct does aid or abet the perpetrator in the commission of the crime is just as guilty as the perpetrator. (See CalCrim Jury Instruction 401).

Are there alternatives in Vista Criminal cases to actual custody?

There are alternatives in Vista Criminal cases to actual custody if custody is part of the sentence, probation was granted and there is no state prison commit.  Those alternatives vary depending on the type of case, facts of the case, defendants unique situation and qualification for the various custody programs.  These alternatives must be approved by the Judge doing the sentencing before they can be given any consideration.  Often the type of custody, if required, is discussed and negotiated as part of the plea bargain.

What percent of Criminal cases are settled with plea bargains?

The vast majority of criminal cases are settled through negotiated plea bargains, well over 90%.  Plea bargaining is an important tool for all parties, Judges, Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys.  There are not near enough resources to try all the cases, so it has become an essential part of the criminal justice system out of necessity.  There are cases which get dismissed becuse of insufficient evidence, or further investigation indicating a valid defense, but the rest of the cases may be able to be resolved in such a way that the Defendant is willing to resolve the matter with an acceptable plea bargain rather than take the risk of going to trial and getting a significant sentence if convicted. 

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