What Is A State Readiness Conference?
As a San Diego criminal lawyer, I am often asked what is a readiness conference.
Many years ago, after being a prosecutor in Alaska, I attended my first readiness conference. There was something that felt wrong about participating in such a proceeding outside the view of the client.
After a client has been charged, there is a day when all the attorneys and the judge gather in a room to discuss the fate of the client. This process reminds me of the smoke filled rooms of the past. . In the backroom, deals are made and the amount of time that a client may serve in jail may be sealed. Unfortunately, few attorneys explain the readiness process to the client.
San Diego criminal defense lawyers often do not prepare adequately for a readiness conference. Before attorneys in my office participates in these conferences, we attempt to gather references for the client to present to the prosecutor. We will not negotiate several cases as the public defender does but will concentrate all of our efforts on one case. We also will try to contact the procecutor before the readiness conference to attempt a more meaningful negotiation regarding your case.
San Diego federal criminal attorneys do not attend these conferences because in the federal court the judge cannot participate in the plea bargaining process.
A client's future should not be determined by an unprepared attorney in a few minutes. As experienced defense attorneys, we prepare thoroughly before negotiating your case. And if you wish to go to jury trial, we do not force you to accept an offer from the prosecution.