The Art of Negotiating

Over 90% of the cases in the criminal system are concluded before trial. For this reason the lawyer who throws down the glove early and refuses to attempt to negotiate a settlement is doing the client a disservice.

For example, in a recent case a popular restaurant in Stanislaus County was burned to the ground. Kirk McAllister’s client was charged with arson. The matter was complicated by the fact that the client had a prior conviction of arson. If convicted with that prior, the client would have to be sentenced to 10 years to life.

Mr. McAllister negotiated a plea bargain with the District Attorney which resulted in the client being sentenced to 365 days county jail instead of the indeterminate sentence. With credit for good behavior the client served approximately 6 months on an ankle monitor—certainly preferable to the life sentence he was facing.