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Does Plea Bargaining Vary Between State Court And Federal Court?

Does Plea Bargaining Vary Between State Court And Federal Court?

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Is there a difference in plea bargaining between federal court and state court?”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“There is…and for a number of reasons. They kind of balance each other out. Well, the US Attorney’s office, by the time they file a case, their cases are extremely strong. So, they don’t file a case unless the case is extremely strong. The balancing of ‘can I win this at trial’ becomes less in the federal court system because of the strength of the cases that are filed. That said, the federal guidelines…the federal sentencing guidelines have more room to move. More factors that the prosecutors and the courts can consider when it comes to sentencing than state guidelines.

State guidelines, in my experience, tend to be more rigid. Although the cases are stronger in federal court, there’s more room to be able to negotiate. My experience has been, and it may not be everybody’s experience, but that the US Attorney’s office do a pretty good job at listening to mitigating circumstances.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“All right, so even though there’s less room to move initially, at the end of the case you have more room to move because of the sentencing guidelines.”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“Yes. I think that’s been my experience. Also to say, some of those sentencing guidelines, especially when it comes to the drug laws in federal court, are pretty severe. You can end up doing a lot of time in federal court for drug crimes, and in the state courts you would never do nearly that much time. That’s one of those risks you have to balance. You go to trial, and you’ve got a significant amount of time that you’re looking at.”

Born and raised in Colorado, Mr. Freeman stayed in the Pacific Northwest after graduating cum laude from Seattle University School of Law in 1995, at which time he was awarded the National Order of Barristers by the National Board of Governors. After gaining extensive trial experience as a prosecutor for the City of Tacoma, Mr. Freeman worked locally for several small law firms focused on personal injury and criminal defense. In 2000, he began to work at a downtown Seattle law firm, where he worked with some of the best lawyers in the nation. During the better part of the next six years, Mr. Freeman was blessed to do work for one of the largest national television providers litigating matters involving the theft of encrypted satellite signals. During this time, he worked closely with corporate counsel and assisted in developing and managing a national litigation campaign. He appeared in federal courts throughout the nation, gaining extensive experience in both federal court litigation and the pursuit of intellectual property thieves attempting to hide on the Internet.

In late 2005, Mr. Freeman decided to open a practice in Tacoma, where his family was growing. Mr. Freeman’s connections locally and nationally nourished his practice over time. He has served the local community as well as handling cases in federal courts across the country. Locally, Mr. Freeman has assisted local businesses in such matters as contentious shareholder disputes and individuals in matters ranging from catastrophic injuries to class A felonies as well as lawsuits against insurance companies for bad faith claims practices. He tried a Whatcom County Superior Court case for a bail bond company that resulted in the first appellate law in Washington truly outlining the rights of fugitive recovery agents. He has tried cases in many counties throughout the State of Washington, argued before the Court of Appeals Division I and Division II and the Washington State Supreme Court.

Mr. Freeman’s practice has taken him beyond Washington State, where he has handled cases for national Internet multi-media companies enforcing copyrights in states such as Florida, Nevada, Arizona, and California. In those cases, he has successfully argued for jurisdiction in the United States against individuals that reside in other countries. Mr. Freeman also represented a publisher against sheriffs regarding First Amendment Rights to distribute a magazine in county jails, resulting in arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the first case law of its kind. He has argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals five times and submitted a briefing to the United States Supreme Court.

On more than several occasions, Mr. Freeman has been retained by parties on the near eve of a trial solely for purpose of being lead trial counsel. One such successful case was against the U.S. Department of Justice in their first trial attempting to enforce the CAN-SPAM Act for the actions of independent contractors.

Mr. Freeman’s passion and strength lay in front of a jury. He finds a beautiful balance between fact witnesses, statutes, case law, rules of evidence, and the different contexts of each jury. Most cases find a resolution before trial, but the best resolution occurs when counsel is prepared to try the case. And, when a case cannot find resolution, Mr. Freeman loves to go to work.

Contact Attorney:

Phone: 253-383-4500
Freeman Law Firm, Inc. is one of the most reputable and reliable attorney enterprises with two locations in Tacoma and Olympia, WA.

Industry Skills:

  • Litigation
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  • Civil Litigation
  • Appeals
  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Research
  • Litigation Management
  • Depositions
  • Criminal Defense
  • Hearings
  • Negotiation
  • Legal Writing
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  • Licensing
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  • Commercial Litigation
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