Pressure to agree to PTP vs Trial/complete exoneration

Rat187

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After a nearly 17 month battle my case is all but won. To quote the bench, "There is no evidence, this is a, he said, she said case." My attorney was urged to talk to the DA and arrive at a mutually agreeable settlement. My attorney came back to me saying the DA was willing to sell PTP to his boss. The way I see it this 'saving face' for everyone in the system but me. My attorney told me this was a great deal and urged me to take it.

I struggled with this for a week and finally reasoned, eff it, if there is no evidence, why should I be afraid of a trial where I could be completely exonerated ? Besides the most fundamental right the Constitution/Bill or Rights affords is the, "Right to Face your Accuser".

I understand that my attorney may be trying to sell me PTP possibly because he's under work load pressure or possibly he thinks 100% PTP then dismissal is better than 99.99% exonerated by trial.

Any 'legal beagles' care to comment....Thanks in advance
 
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I'm unqualified to give advice, just want to say it's unconscionable that the government can "negotiate" a deal to settle a criminal case. It should be purely adversarial.
 

appraiser

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it gets "dismissed" but it follows you forever, IMHO you are admitting to sufficient facts in return for the "dismissal" in a year.


Ask all the folks that used to "admit to sufficient facts" and take a C.W.O.F. on a D.W.I. charge, paying $62.50 in court costs, that then had those deals count as a conviction in the eyes of several government agencies.

I was charged with a crime, I was 100% not guilty, my then Attorney was telling me to take the CWOF and move on. I insisted on a bench trial.

The bench trial lasted all of 5 minutes, the Judge would not even let us put on a defense, after he heard the sole prosecution witness he said "why are we here.... case dismissed"

IMHO too many Attorneys are willing to sell their client out to an A.D.A. in return for a C.W.O.F. which makes them both look good, without considering the ramifications of that later on in life.
 
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Would the statement from the judge (that there's no evidence against you) be admissible at trial?
 

42!

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IANAL and swatgig and nstassel are, and my opinion is highly biased since I took a "deal" (CWOF) my lawyer (and the CoP) said would not have any future affect. No deals.
 

appraiser

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Ptp does not involve an admission to sufficient facts. Take it and negotiate shortest period possible. There's no such thing as a sure thing.
Since you know more than I ( I bow to your superior knowledge BTW), without commenting on the specifics of the OP's case, hypothetically if you had an offer of pre trial probation and charges dismissed in say 6 months, vs going to trial, what is the down side of pre trial probation?

Can the probation department require you to report weekly at a time of their choosing?

Would you be subject to say a $50/week probation fee?

Can they make it a condition of the pre trial probation that you have no weapons, stay drug and alcohol free, and attend say AA or Anger Management classes?

Would violation of any conditions result in a hearing where the the PTP could be changed to a guilty without trial and sentence imposed?

Can at any time in the future can this be used against a defendant?

Will it show up on a C.O.R.I. check?

If laws are changed in the future, can a PTP be counted as a guilty? Is a PTP with charges dropped going to come back and bite someone in the arse at any time and for any reason? Is PTP a clean getaway with no ramifications?
 

Rat187

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Well they may or may not be highly biased, but I believe both practice at the Bar in Mass. So I do respect the reality check. Having said that neither know the exact particulars and the evolution of my case.

If the Commonwealth is willing to convict an innocent man with no evidence and then call it convicted 'Beyond a reasonable doubt' well then we're all screwed
 

nstassel

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Alford is an admission to sufficient facts and many judges won't accept a pure Alford plea on a serious charge even to impose a cwof.

Ptp generally is only administrative without conditions but they can be imposed if everyone agrees. Adminstrative means no reporting. Also a probation service fee is generally not imposed on ptp although that too can vary especially if the are conditions that are being supervised by probation.
 

42!

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Would this PTP be considered an Alford Plea - A plea to a criminal charge that does not admit guilt, but admits that sufficient evidence exists to obtain a conviction.
This is what the judge usually imposes with a CWOF, it's not required but it is typical. And even if it doesn't exist, everyone will assume it does even without any supporting paperwork.

I'd like to hear more from our lawyer members on how a PTP differs from a CWOF.
 
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IANAL and swatgig and nstassel are, and my opinion is highly biased since I took a "deal" (CWOF) my lawyer (and the CoP) said would not have any future affect. No deals.
People who plead out to convictions with very minor penalties as juveniles were told no future affect as well. That changed a bit.

There is no guarantee the system will not change such that CWOF=conviction for the purpose of licensing.
Can they make it a condition of the pre trial probation that you have no weapons, stay drug and alcohol free, and attend say AA or Anger Management classes?
If it is a firearms disabling offense, one is generally a PP until the CWOF or PIP period is over as charges are technically still pending.
 

Buck F

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IANAL but can you get a bench trial with the judge that said there’s no evidence? A jury trial can go sideways even w/ a he said she said if the Jury believes her, but it would be hard to imagine that a judge who has already said there’s no evidence would find you guilty. Maybe I’m being naive?
 

Rat187

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It's stone cold clear to me signing your LTC in Mass is throwing away every right that is afforded to us in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. It will get worse and the uninitiated in this forum have no clue how a simple accusation 'cuz gunz' will suck you into the maelstrom & crush you. I saw it in my short stay in the big house, innocent men in the system and unable to afford a good attorney are screwed.
 

BTSDOG

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A river runs thru it........
In my HEART, if I know I’m totally innocent, I don’t give a F**k, I’m going for a jury trial. I’m not pleading anything for any piece of shit lawyer, or DA just to move things along. If I’m found guilty, and I KNOW IM innocent, well, that’s gonna be another chapter in the book I’ll write later....
 

nstassel

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This is what the judge usually imposes with a CWOF, it's not required but it is typical. And even if it doesn't exist, everyone will assume it does even without any supporting paperwork.

I'd like to hear more from our lawyer members on how a PTP differs from a CWOF.
First Alford is not something imposed. It refers to a plea in which the defendant admits that if the government's evidence were believed, it could meet its burden of proof but does not admit guilt.

Ptp has no admission of any type. If the conditions are violated the defendant is simply placed back into a trial posture where all his original rights exist for a trial. That's why it's a no brainer usually. It's not an admission and it's not a guilty.
 

Rat187

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First Alford is not something imposed. It refers to a plea in which the defendant admits that if the government's evidence were believed, it could meet its burden of proof but does not admit guilt.

Ptp has no admission of any type. If the conditions are violated the defendant is simply placed back into a trial posture where all his original rights exist for a trial. That's why it's a no brainer usually. It's not an admission and it's not a guilty.
Ok, crystal clear now
 

Picton

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First Alford is not something imposed. It refers to a plea in which the defendant admits that if the government's evidence were believed, it could meet its burden of proof but does not admit guilt.

Ptp has no admission of any type. If the conditions are violated the defendant is simply placed back into a trial posture where all his original rights exist for a trial. That's why it's a no brainer usually. It's not an admission and it's not a guilty.
I’ve never heard of PTP. Is it rare?

I’ve got nothing to add, but I’m learning a lot from this thread. Thanks to all for your candor.
 

Rat187

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In my HEART, if I know I’m totally innocent, I don’t give a F**k, I’m going for a jury trial. I’m not pleading anything for any piece of shit lawyer, or DA just to move things along. If I’m found guilty, and I KNOW IM innocent, well, that’s gonna be another chapter in the book I’ll write later....
Well said ! I'm on chapter 17...lol

BTW: if anyone's interested check out '3 years in Pakistan: The Eric Aude story' a 2018 documentary IMBD rated it 8.7, both profound and moving. It's about an American who after a pretty horrifying ordeal gets pardoned but refused the pardon by 'Paki' authorities and instead insists on a trial to clear his name
 
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