Sometimes convention goes out the window. I am currently representing a young client charged with shoplifting. Upon making our initial appearance, it became apparent that the alleged victim in the case, the store where he worked, was not interested in making any positive recommendations to the prosecutor as far as a disposition is concerned.
It may come as a surprise to some that the alleged victim frequently has an active role in the pre-trial negotiations. In many cases, the position of the victim is the most important consideration for the state in making an initial plea offer.
In this particular case, the prosecutor was not willing to downgrade the offense because of the store’s position.
I scheduled the case for trial. However, on my way out I stopped the representative of the store to discuss the case. She was a very nice and reasonable person who explained to me that she did not have the authority to work the case out. I presented my position and she said she would talk to her superiors.
Thankfully, I received a call from general counsel for the store the next day and we had a great conversation. I am very confident that I will be able to get a great outcome for my client while at the same time providing the store with the type of reassurances that it needs.
This is really the best way to work these matters out and I am always excited when it happens. It embodies the concept of advocate. It is truly satisfying when individuals on opposites side of the table take the time to listen and come up with a resolution that benefits both parties.
Although it does not always happen this way, I always make sure to pursue this option, especially if the the facts of the case are not in my favor. It takes more time and more effort, but well worth it when their is a meeting of the minds and the product is a reasonable and favorable disposition.