New Palestine, IN asked in Criminal Law and Cannabis & Marijuana Law for Indiana

Q: Can a pro se litigant in a criminal case initiate communication with the prosecutor for the sake of plea bargaining?

I e-filed an appearance for my own behalf. I was arrested on my 3rd marijuana possession in Indiana; class A misdemeanor. I filed 2 motions; one for stand-by counsel and the other to have my bond returned to pay for my defense. The bond request was denied but there is a hearing set for the public defender. I'm guessing that the prosecutor will offer me a plea bargain at some point but I was curious if I could initiate the process with an offer...the second pretrial conference is set for May 8, 2020.

Thank you

2 Lawyer Answers
Paul Stanko
Paul Stanko
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Plymouth, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: Yes. Just make sure to tell the prosecutor you are pro se.

Andrew L. Bennett
Andrew L. Bennett
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Valparaiso, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: You can initiate the communication and plea discussions. Keep in mind, in many counties prosecutors will negotiate with pro se litigants, however, in some counties they do not. I am not sure which is true where your case is pending. Also be able to make logical arguments and if you have researched any law to let the prosecutor know how you think it applies to your case. I'm not sure why the judge denied you bond request other than he did not want to release it until the case is closed, however, depending on the amount of bond, most attorneys will take an assignment on the bond as part of their fee, so it may still be available to use to pay for an attorney. Good luck.

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