Should I Take My Case to Trial?
A criminal case can be resolved in one of two ways.
The first way is through a plea or plea bargain. A plea bargain is where a person admits guilt to something in exchange for some sort of benefit in return.
For example, a person charged with three crimes might plead guilty to one crime in exchange for dismissals of the other two crimes. In another example, a person might plead guilty in exchange for a promise by the judge for no jail time.
The second way a case can be resolved is by challenging the case. You can take the case to trial, file motions, and challenge evidence.
You do not need a reason to take a case to trial. Innocence is not a requirement to choose trial. At the end of the day, you can choose a trial for any reason. It is the prosecution’s burden and job to prove you did what you are accused of. It is not your job to prove your innocence.
Choice of Resolution
The client makes the decision of how the case will be resolved. The attorney carries out the client’s wishes. The attorney can of course provide counsel based on experience and knowledge of the law. Ultimately, the decision on resolution must come from the client.
Should you take the case to trial?
There are times when it is obvious to take the case to trial. When you are innocent, and the prosecutor will not dismiss the case. You can’t plead guilty to a crime you did not commit.
There are other times when the choice is less clear. What if you did what you are accused of, but the prosecution would have a really difficult time proving you did it? Remember, the prosecution has the burden of proving their case – you do not need to do anything. It is the prosecution’s problem if they cannot prove the case.
What if you committed the crime, but the prosecutor is unwilling to offer any sort of plea deal to help you? You may want to consider trial here.
If you have nothing to lose by going to trial, then you may have everything to gain. This would be most apparent where the penalty for a trial loss is low or the same as a conviction for a guilty plea.
There are many situations such as these where the answer is not clear. There is always some risk going to trial. A plea bargain eliminates risk – when you plead guilty you know what will happen.
The plea bargain likely provides you some of what you want but not everything. In a trial, you can win and walk away, but if you lose then you don’t receive the benefit you would have from a guilty plea.
Your attorney should respect your choice for trial no matter your reason. As an attorney, our job would be to caution you on potential consequences, so you can make an informed decision. After that, it’s completely your choice.
ArborYpsi Law Philosphy
At ArborYpsi Law, we have taken cases to trial in many different situations. We’ve taken cases to trial where the client was 100% innocent, where the client was 100% guilty, where the prosecution couldn’t prove their burden, or where the client’s reason for going to trial was because they simply felt the charge was unfair.
We believe we are real criminal defense attorneys. Many attorneys advertise by saying they are not afraid to win. That doesn’t make any sense – who would be afraid to win!
A real criminal defense attorney is not afraid to lose. Criminal defense cases are difficult. Often the police have lots of evidence against the defendant. Trying these cases is not easy. Going to trial despite the evidence against a client is the true test of a criminal defense attorney.
This means if you give us the green light to challenge the case we will do everything in our power to beat the case.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
Read More: Steps in an OWI Case