Should you plead guilty or not guilty? Do you have a prayer of winning if your case comes before a jury? What happens if you plead guilty and avoid trial? For the most part, only your attorney can answer if it’s worth going to trial in Lubbock, TX. Each case and situation are unique—two defendants charged with the same crime might have very different evidence, or reasons for not wanting to go to trial.
However, there are some general advantages and drawbacks to each kind of plea. Here’s why some people might choose to skip or take their case to trial.
Why would I plead guilty?
The answer to this question doesn’t hinge on guilt or innocence—that’s definitely a factor, but it’s not always the determining one. There are plenty of people who plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit. Sometimes it’s because the evidence looks bad and they don’t want to go through the public humiliation of a trial. Others might plead guilty because they didn’t commit that crime, but they did something worse that could come up during investigation and trial.
Granted, many people who do plead guilty do it because they committed a crime and there’s enough evidence to make that clear in a jury’s mind. Some folks are concerned about the time and expense involved in a trial. Most cases don’t go to trial for a year or more—defendants are often counseled to waive their right to a speedy trial because it’s in the investigation’s best interest. On top of that, if you retain your own private attorney, you’ll be paying more to go to trial.
Finally, some people plead guilty because their attorney has negotiated a plea bargain—that is, a lesser sentence than they might get if they left it up to a judge and jury.
Why would I plead not guilty and go to trial?
Why go to trial in Lubbock, TX? Just as innocent people can plead guilty, guilty people frequently plead not guilty. Taking a case to trial is often wise when the evidence is lacking—and if something particularly incriminating comes in, they’ll often still be allowed to strike a plea bargain.
Going to trial is, of course, one of the few ways that people can be exonerated of the charges against them. It’s also an opportunity for defendants to assist the investigation, spend time with their family and prepare a contingency plan for their families, if convicted.
Finally, you might plead not guilty if the evidence obtained was the result of police misconduct—that evidence can be suppressed at trial. If it’s significant enough, whether in amount or significance, the prosecution won’t have anything to go on. Since the state has to provide each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt (the highest evidentiary standard), a lack of evidence can be devastating to their case.
If you’ve been charged with a crime and are wondering whether it’s worth taking it to trial in Lubbock, TX, call the Law Office of Rob Biggers today.
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Categorised in: Criminal Law