The Broward State Attorneys office is assisting people who wish to expunge or seal criminal records.
There are many situations where a criminal record weather you have been found guilty or not could prevent you from obtaining employment, renting a home and possible prevent you from obtaining professional licenses or certifications. You may be eligible under Florida Statute 943 to complete a form that may help you move on.
Plea bargains – good or bad? You decide.
A plea bargain is an agreement between a defendant and a prosecutor, in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest (nolo contendere) in exchange for an agreement by the prosecutor to drop one or more charges, reduce a charge to a less serious offense, or recommend to the judge a specific sentence acceptable to the defense.
Assistatnt state attorneys tend to have a high turnover as state prosecutors in the state of Florida. Many of the ASA’s are hired right out of law school and are trying to make a name for them selfes. It is the goal of most attorneys to win the cases they are trying regardless of the truth. Some attorneys even hide evidence if it may negatively impacte their case.
wikipedia.org quotes the following.
Misalignment of prosecutor goals and incentives
Agency problems sometimes arise in plea bargaining in that although the prosecutor represents the people and the defense attorney represents the defendant, these agents’ goals may be far from congruent with those of their principals. Moreover, prosecutors and defense attorneys often view each other as colleagues and generally wish to maintain good relations with one another. A defense attorney often receives a flat fee or in any event will not receive enough additional money if he goes to trial to cover the costs of doing so; this can create an incentive to plea bargain, even at the expense of the defense attorney’s client’s interests.
On the other hand, the prosecutor may wish to maintain a high conviction rate and avoid losing high-profile trials; thus, settling a case by plea bargain may further his interests, even if the resulting sentence would not effectively deter crime. As many crimes have very narrow sentencing bands, a prosecutor often has scope to propose whatever degree of “discounted” charges, or substitution of misdemeanor rather than felony charges, to whatever extent they believe would incentivise a defendant to make a guilty plea and accept a speedy conviction, regardless of actual guilt.
Plea bargaining can also be argued to be a method used to augment the revenue of a municipality. There are situations in which an offender is apprehended committing a felony yet the officer will charge the offender with an ordinance/misdemeanor rather than with the actual crime which will keep the case from being moved to a superior court. Once there has been a change in venue the municipality will not receive any fees from the fines collected upon the conclusion of the case. Thus municipalities can use plea bargaining as a revenue stream, regardless if justice is subverted and criminals can pay their way out of an otherwise serious charge