In California courts, a “Harvey Waiver” allows the court to consider dismissed charges during sentencing in a criminal case. Let’s say that you are charged with several crimes at the same time. A frequent example of this in California is the defendant who is charged with both DUI and with hit and run. A good DUI defense lawyer will work for either a dismissal of the charges or an acquittal at trial.
In some cases, however, a prosecutor’s evidence is compelling, and a plausible defense doesn’t emerge from the facts of the case. If there are multiple charges against you, the prosecutor may offer you a plea deal that includes a “Harvey Waiver.” That means one of the charges will be “officially” dropped and not appear on your record, but the sentence you would have received is added to your sentence for the charge that wasn’t dismissed. If a defendant agrees to a Harvey Waiver, he must pay any fines and restitution that would have been part of the sentence for the dismissed charge. Restitution orders are imposed based on the victim’s damages.
The Harvey Waiver gives courts the right to sentence you for a charge that has been dismissed. Typically, you have the right to be sentenced for only the charges that you have pled guilty to or been convicted of. When you accept a Harvey Waiver, you waive that right.
In California, if you are facing multiple charges that include DUI – or if you face such charges in the future – you will need legal representation from an experienced DUI defense attorney. In some cases you may want to accept a Harvey Waiver; in other situations, you may deem a Harvey Waiver unacceptable and prefer to go to trial. Either way, you’ll need the counsel and guidance of a good California DUI defense lawyer who will fight for your rights and for the best possible resolution of your case. If you’re facing multiple charges that include DUI, contact an experienced DUI defense attorney right away.