Criminal Defense

Should You Prepare for Trial Even If There’s a Good Chance of a Plea Deal?

January 18, 2022 by Madison Ferguson in Criminal Defense  
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Did you know that 95% of the cases tried in the states never make it to trial? Instead the cases are resolved with a plea bargain. Thus, if you are charged with a criminal offense, chances are you may be offered a plea bargain.

This is why it is necessary to have a criminal defense by your side to help you understand whether a plea deal is in your best interest or not.

What Is A Plea Deal?

After a person is arrested, the next step is usually their arraignment. Here they will be read the charges they are facing, and the prosecutor may attempt to offer them a plea bargain. A plea bargain is a negotiated agreement between the defendant and the prosecution, where they agree to settle the charges without a trial. The prosecutor usually has to offer the defendant concessions such as a less severe charge, or a reduced jail term. A defense attorney can even help you negotiate an even better plea bargain, which is why it is necessary to get a criminal defense attorney involved in your case as soon as possible.

So what makes plea bargains so popular?

Well, they provide a win-win situation for everyone involved. The defendant gets to escape the risk that comes with a trial. I mean, while there is a chance they can get acquitted. They is also a chance they could get convicted and face more severe charges. At least with a plea deal, they know what to expect. For the prosecutor, a plea deal allows the cases to be settled faster, which will save the state money and time.

You should note that if you do accept a plea bargain, you revoke your right to a trial before your peers.

So Should You Prepare For Trial If There Is A Possibility For A Plea Bargain?

With the chance of a plea bargain being available, it may seem irrelevant for a criminal defense lawyer to prepare for trial. Actually, a couple of defendants believe their defense attorneys will not begin getting ready for a case unless they are aware a plea deal is available or not.

Nevertheless, you note that failing to prepare is planning to fail. It is your defense attorney’s job to prepare for a trial whether or not you are going to receive a plea deal or not. A competent defense lawyer should be prepared for anything. That includes trial, even if there is a high possibility for a plea deal. Remember, just because a plea deal is available does not mean the defendant has to accept it. In some situations, you may find that the plea deal offers the defendant few benefits making trial the better option.

Thus, whatever happens, it is better to be prepared and not need it, than be unprepared and need it. Consider this. If you do go to trial, you risk facing the full penalties of the charges you have been accused of if you get convicted. Therefore, to protect yourself, no matter what happens, you should prepare for trial even with the possibility of a plea deal.

“It is better to be prepared and not need it, than be unprepared and need it.”

How Can You Help Your Criminal Defense Attorney Prepare For Your Trial?

Thus, on the off chance, you do happen to go to trial, you want to do everything possible to help your defense attorney build a strong case. The first thing you need to do is be honest. Remember attorney-client privilege protects any information you share with your attorney from being used against you. Ergo you want to be as honest as possible with your attorney about your trial. Any information you feel may be relevant to your case should be promptly shared with your lawyer, no matter how small.

Secondly, you need to follow your attorney’s advice. Collaboration between you and your attorney is vital to the success of your trial. You hired your attorney to work in your best interest. Hence if you choose to ignore their advice, you will only be doing yourself a disservice.

In conclusion, whether there is a chance for you to get a plea deal or not, your defense attorney should still ensure they are well-prepared for court.

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If you have been charged with a crime in California and need legal assistance, schedule a consultation. We have significant expertise in criminal law and can help you to reach a fair outcome in your case.
 

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Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Criminal Defense Attorney who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.

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How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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