Did you know that most criminal cases never make it to trial? According to The Marshall Project, about 94% are settled through plea bargaining.
Accepting a deal can give you immediate relief with the hope of a light sentence or no jail time but remember you also have the right to a jury trial. If you are in legal trouble and cannot decide your next steps, it may be time to learn more about taking a criminal case to trial.
What are the possible rewards?
Under experienced guidance, a trial allows you to tell your side of the story without worsening your situation. A well-prepared defense may even convince a jury that you do not deserve to be convicted. If this happens, you can go home and avoid a black mark on your criminal record.
Since a trial takes much longer than a plea bargain, having this extra time to work on your case could be advantageous. Most defendants are put off by the prospect of waiting for a trial, but it can give your legal team more time to build a successful defense.
Accepting a plea deal is essentially the same as admitting guilt, even if you are not guilty of the charges you face. Those who are steadfast in their resolve to maintain their innocence may choose a trial. While they may not be able to predict the outcome, refusing to admit guilt is beneficial for some.
How do you decide what to do?
The choices you make in your journey through the California criminal justice system will impact your case directly. Looking at your circumstances realistically can improve your decision-making. Guidance from a defense representative may also help you make the right decision.