Oftentimes when a person is charged with a criminal offense, they have multiple charges against them. One of the most common dualscharges is a drinking under the influence charge, and a hit and run.
When you appear before a criminal Judge at your first scheduled hearing, the Arraignment, a few things will happen. The Judge will inform you of your rightssduring criminal proceedings, the Prosecutor will give you a plea bargain, the Court will inform you of the maximum potential sentence that may be given to you in accordance with the California Penal Code, and you will be asked to enter a plea.
The plea bargain is of particular importance. This is an offer that is made by the Prosecutor, that if you plead guilty on that day, then the offer will be what you are pleading guilty to. Oftentimes, when there are multiple charges against you, the Prosecutor may offer to drop one, but if you accept a Harvey Waiver.
If you are not a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney, chances are, you will have no idea what a Harvey Waiver is. If you agree to a dismissal of yourscase, and along with it a Harvey Waiver, you are essentially agreeing to something you do not fully understand. This is one of the many important reasons as to why you should seek the help of a legal professional so you under the concept of the Harvey Waiver, and what rights, if any, you would be giving up.
A Harvey Waiver essentially gives the Prosecutor a right to give you assentence for a charge that has been dismissed. Generally, a court cannot give you a sentence in consideration of a charge that has been dismissed. You have a right to only be sentenced for a charge that you have pled guilty to, or have been convicted of. The Harvey Waiver, waives that right.
Let’s consider an example to illustrate the concept. David has been stopped for suspicion of a DUI. Officers had reasonable suspicion that David was driving under the influence because they observed him hit a parked vehicle and keep driving. When David was taken into custody, he was charged with a Hit and Run, and a DUI. David, through his attorney, made amends and prepared a civil compromise with the owner of the parked vehicle, making all amends and reimbursements. The Court agreed to dismiss the Hit and Run charge so that it would not be on his record, but as part of the offer, they asked for a Harvey Waiver.
If David agrees to the Harvey Waiver, then the Hit and Run will not be on his criminal record, and it will be completely dismissed. But David will have an additional sentence on top of the DUI for the Hit and Run.
This type of scenario has its disadvantages but also its advantages. One thing is for sure, you are waiving a very important right. That waiver along requires an in depth discussion with a Criminal Attorney about the best option for you.