Find Out If Early Resolution Court Is Right For You
If you have been arrested for a non-violent crime in Fort Myers, you could be informed that you qualify for Early Resolution Court (ERC). This might be presented to you as the best way to resolve your case. However, that may or may not be true, depending on the circumstances of your particular situation. Before you decide to take a deal, it would be wise to consult with our experienced criminal defense lawyers at Aiken & O’Halloran. We can help you determine if ERC would genuinely be in your best interests.
When ERC Is An Option
In Florida, some felonies qualify for Early Resolution Court. This program makes the criminal system less crowded and, in some cases, can be a way for individuals to get through the legal process quicker and with a better resolution. The Early Resolution Plea (ERP) unit is responsible for identifying and resolving qualifying cases early on during criminal proceedings, rather than having all cases move to the trial docket.
Typical cases that can be resolved with ERC include:
- Theft crimes
- Drug offenses
- Worthless checks
- Traffic offenses
- Simple burglaries
- Grand theft shoplifting
- Possession of cocaine
- Illegal use of a credit card
- Felony battery
The ERP unit works with victims and arresting officers in cases to create plea offers. The unit will then contact the defendant and offer a plea bargain in exchange for a guilty plea during the Early Resolution process. Cases that cannot be resolved in this manner will be placed on the felony trial docket.
Is This Plea Bargain Really A Bargain?
You need to keep in mind that the State does not have your best interests at heart. The State employees may appear to be on your side by offering you probation. However, what they often conveniently fail to mention is that they do not have the grounds to file a case against you. Therefore, your acceptance of probation would put harsh restrictions upon you, whereas otherwise, you could have gone free. Remember, in order to convict you, the prosecution must be able to prove that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution realizes that they do not have adequate evidence to prove your guilt, they may try to penalize you through an ERC offer of probation.
The other reality is that for many people, probation is no simple or easy matter. There are several conditions that an individual needs to meet while on probation, and even failing to keep in touch with a probation officer can result in significant penalties. Before accepting a plea bargain for probation, get in touch with our legal team to find out if it is really a “bargain.”
Contact Aiken & O’Halloran Today
If you have been contacted about entering a guilty plea in Early Resolution Court, get in touch with our experienced criminal defense attorneys today. You can be confident that we want what is best for you and can help you determine the right course of action during this time. For a free consultation, please call us at 239-955-6715 or complete our contact form. Our criminal defense lawyers represent clients throughout Fort Myers and the surrounding areas.