If you were recently arrested for a crime in Denver, Greenwood Village, or anywhere in Arapahoe County and your criminal case is progressing through the courts, you’ll probably want to know, “Will my case go to trial?” This is a good question!
The answer to this question depends on what you decide to do. Will you plead guilty? Will you try to negotiate a plea bargain? Or, will you fight your charges? As a criminal defense attorney, I’m not in the practice of advising people to “plead guilty” and accept the full wrath of the criminal justice system; to do that would put my client at an unfair disadvantage.
If you made a mistake and the state has a mountain of hard evidence against you, there’s a good chance I’d advise seeking a plea bargain. For many defendants, plea bargaining can offer tremendous advantages. For example, it can mean they get out of custody sooner, and it can mean their charge is reduced to a lesser offense. As a result, the defendant receives a lighter sentence and penalties.
Why do defendants accept plea bargains?
- Often, they can be released from custody much sooner.
- They have peace of mind because they KNOW what to expect.
- The defendant pleads guilty to a less socially stigmatized offense.
- The lesser offense “looks better” on their criminal record.
- The defendant receives less time behind bars.
- The defendant can save a bundle in attorney fees.
- The penalties are less severe than the original charge.
- In some cases, a Green Card holder can avoid deportation.
Who Decides About Trial?
Suppose you’re not sure whether to go to trial or accept a plea deal. You’re confused about what to do. For starters, you should definitely listen to your defense attorney’s advice; however, the decision is ultimately up to you. If you don’t like the deal on the table, it’s your desire that will prevail. You can seek a jury trial if that’s what you want.
You should however, ask your attorney questions before you decide to reject an offer and take a case to trial. If you don’t understand your lawyer’s reasoning, ask him or her about it so you can understand why their advice is in your best interests.