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When Is It Worth it to Take Your Criminal Case to Trial
Should I go to trial or take a plea deal? Which option will get me the best outcome in my criminal case? These are some of the most pressing questions facing criminal defendants in California, especially in cases where the offer from the District Attorney is simply unreasonable. It can be difficult to decide whether it is in your best interest to accept a plea deal or take your case to trial and fight the criminal charges, especially since the outcome of a trial is unpredictable. A good criminal defense attorney will ensure that you have all the information you need to make a sound decision about going to trial, but the decision is ultimately up to you. Call Sevens Legal today at (619) 430-2355 to learn about when it is worth it to take your criminal case to trial or to schedule a free consultation with our skilled criminal defense team.
- Criminal defendants often wonder whether going to trial or accepting a plea deal is in their best interest.
- If you want to tell your side of the story, going to trial gives you a chance to take the stand and make sure your voice is heard.
- Taking your case to trial may also be your best bet if the DA is being unreasonable and you want to fight for a better outcome.
- In some cases, going to trial may result in a better sentence than what the DA is offering.
- An experienced criminal defense attorney will advocate for you and ensure that you understand your legal options when facing criminal charges in California.
How Criminal Cases Work in California
In California, once a person has been arrested for a crime and charges have been filed, the suspect will appear in court at the arraignment and enter a plea. In some cases, the prosecuting attorney may offer the defendant a plea deal, which means the defendant will receive some kind of concession, usually a reduced charge or punishment, in exchange for pleading guilty or nolo contendere (no contest). If the defendant is offered a plea deal and accepts, a judge will dole out the sentence without a trial. If the defendant wants to fight the charges and pleads not guilty, the case will go to trial, where a judge or jury will decide the verdict.
Going to Trial vs Accepting a Plea Deal
Depending on the specifics of your criminal case, accepting a plea deal from the DA may be the best way to resolve your case and avoid a more serious punishment. In others, you may be better off taking your chances at trial. To know whether to accept a plea or go to trial, you must assess the pros and cons of each option. For instance, by making a plea agreement instead of going to trial, you have the benefit of predictability concerning the outcome of your case (i.e. your sentence). On the other hand, accepting a plea offer means you will most definitely gain a criminal record. You will also be giving up your right to challenge the charges or go to trial.
When Going to Trial Makes Sense
Considering the predictability that comes with taking a plea, choosing to go to trial and putting your case in the hands of a judge or jury may seem like a risky move. And in some cases, it can be. Trials are unpredictable and you have no way of knowing whether the judge or jury will decide in your favor. However, if you are truly innocent of the crime you have been accused of committing and you want justice, going to trial and fighting for a better outcome may be in your best interest. This is especially true if the DA is not offering a reasonable plea deal. Perhaps the DA is overcharging, or maybe there is a crime you did commit and you want to negotiate a plea deal on that charge, but the DA is also charging you with other crimes you didn’t commit. In this case, taking your case to trial may result in some of these charges being dismissed, or the sentencing from the judge may be better than the sentence the DA is offering, even if you lose at trial.
A trial may also be the best choice for you if your attorney feels the prosecution’s case is weak and you have a strong defense strategy in place. The most obvious benefit of going to trial is the possibility of obtaining a not-guilty verdict and having your case dismissed with no criminal liability. The potential downside is being found guilty and facing serious criminal penalties.
Free San Diego Criminal Defense Consultation
If you are facing criminal charges in San Diego, you should meet with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Every criminal case in California is different and there are myriad factors to consider when deciding whether to go to trial or take a plea, the possible outcomes of which will depend a great deal on the circumstances of your case.
If you think you may want to take your criminal case to trial, it is vitally important that you enlist the help of a qualified defense attorney. An attorney can thoroughly examine the facts and circumstances of your case and assist you in deciding whether going to trial is a worthwhile endeavor. When you hire our criminal defense attorneys to represent you, we will walk you through every possible scenario to determine which course of action is most likely to get you the outcome you want. We will ensure that you understand your legal options and advocate for you at every turn.
How to Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys
Our criminal defense attorneys at Sevens Legal can help you decide whether going to trial or accepting a plea deal is the best option for you. We always have experienced attorneys standing by, ready to help. Call us today at (619) 430-2355 or visit our website to learn more about how we can help you make this crucial decision.