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Home Articles Penalty Reduction

How to Work with Orange County Prosecutors for a Reduced Penalty

Our criminal justice system doesn't treat all offenses equally. In California, crimes are classed as infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies. More serious crimes lead to more harsh penalties. There are also several offenses that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. This leaves room for a skilled Orange County criminal defense attorney to obtain a reduced sentence for their client or even have charges dropped.

Negotiating a Plea Deal in OC

A fairly common strategy in criminal defense is to negotiate a plea deal. In essence, the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser offense, for example, manslaughter rather than murder, and the prosecutor will recommend a shorter prison sentence to the judge. This month, Orange County prosecutors made a plea deal with Samuel Oscar Montes, who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of his girlfriend in Anaheim in 2011. In exchange for Montes's guilty plea, prosecutors have dropped several of the charges against him. Montes will likely be sentenced to 15 years in prison, rather than the 50 years he would have faced otherwise.


In other cases, a suspect in a criminal case could be put into a program for low-level or juvenile defendants. These programs are often educational and are intended to serve as an alternative to incarceration for younger offenders. Last week, investigators determined that a fire at a Santa Ana apartment complex was started by a 10-year-old boy playing with a lighter. The fire destroyed two vehicles and caused other property damage. However, rather than filing criminal charges, the Orange County Fire Authorities allowed the boy to enroll in its Fire F.R.I.E.N.D.S. program which is aimed at teaching children to avoid fire starting behavior.

How to Successfully Negotiate a Deal

And although not everyone will be able to successfully negotiate a deal with prosecutors or qualify for an alternative penalty, everybody who has been accused of a crime can benefit from hiring professional legal representation. Having a skilled attorney on your side greatly increases your chances of an acquittal or other favorable outcome like charges being reduced or dismissed. A lawyer is an advocate for your interests who will work tirelessly to make sure that you have a voice in court proceedings.

I've worked in criminal defense ever since I graduated from law school more than sixteen years ago. In that time, I've helped people from all over Southern California to fight criminal charges and keep their life on track. I know how difficult it can be when your or a family member has been accused of a crime. I've seen the damage that it can do to your reputation and your ability to earn a living. I work hard to help my clients through the worst times in their life.

I'm proud of the work I've done in Orange County's state and federal courts, and I'm proud of the work my staff puts in every day to help our clients. When you come to my firm, your case will receive my personal attention. I can't promise you a perfect outcome for your case, but I will promise that I'll do everything within my power to help you through the process of fighting a criminal charge.

With offices in Irvine, Newport Beach, and Garden Grove, my firm is ideally placed to serve both the diverse local community, and the nearest state and federal court districts. We also offer foreign language assistance to our clients who need it.

So if you've been charged with a crime in Southern California, call Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 530-9690 for a free consultation.

Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.

(714) 530-9690

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“It was strongly recommended that I call federal defense attorney Michael L. Guisti. He had several investigators look at records and such, and my federal case was dismissed. Michael Guisti does what few attorneys can do, beat the federal government, and that is why if you’re in trouble with the government you need to call Michael Guisti right away!”

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“I had everything to lose, my future, my education. Basically I did something that got me a misdemeanor, and the judge wanted to give a guilty plea. But Michael Guisti would not back down. Instead he fought for me, and now my record is clean.”

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“Back in 2003 I was facing attempted murder. My family hired Michael Guisti to represent me. He is a very good attorney. He always answered my calls, addressed my questions and concerns, and kept me updated about my case. Thank you Michael Guisti for winning my case. I highly recommend anyone facing a criminal charge to see Michael Guisti.”

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Case Results

sex crimes

Case Dropped

Young man charged and arrested for sexual battery.


Case Dropped

Man charged with assault with a deadly weapon for hitting someone in the face with a heavy metal dust pan.

drug crimes

Served Less Than 30 Days in Jail

Young man charged with selling 1000 tabs of ecstasy to undercover officer.

Attempted Murder

Reduced to Assault With Deadly Weapon

Young man knocks the eye out his victim with a metal pipe. Charged with attempted murder and aggravated mayhem. Both cases carried life sentences.

Assault & Battery

Serves 80 Days on Work Furlough

Woman arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon using scissors on a co-worker.

Vehicular Assault

Serves 80 Days on Work Furlough

Man charged with three felony counts of vehicular assault with a deadly weapon.


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Orange County Criminal Attorney Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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