Should I plea bargain or take my case to trial?
In every criminal case, the defendant is faced with the question: Should I plead bargain or go to trial? This question is very broad, so will be my answer. A defendant’s ability to plea bargain is controlled by his knowledge of the government’s case compared to the strength of his own case. A plea bargain is giving up your right to go to trial in exchange for something in return, usually a known sentence to a known charge. Plea bargaining exists in almost every criminal at some point. Some write about pros and cons of plea bargaining.
Should I plead guilty at arraignment? Probably not.
Should a defendant plead guilty at their first appearance or arraignment? Some courts have a prosecutor at arraignment dockets for plea bargaining. However, while sometimes this is the best time to make a deal, most times, arraignment is not the best time to enter a plea agreement.
Defendants rarely get to see their discovery at arraignment, so their ability to plea bargain is weak
A few questions to decide whether you should accept a plea agreement are the following: (1) have you seen the evidence against you? (2) does the evidence against you have weak points? (3) can you counter the evidence against you with your own evidence? (4) and so on.
These and other questions help you determine whether the plea offer is good or bad as compared to your chances of acquittal at trial. At arraignment, because you know so little about these risks for trial, you are best to hire an attorney to help you make the correct choices from the beginning.
At arraignment, especially if you do not have a lawyer, you will not have even reviewed the evidence against you. As such, pleading guilty is “roll of the wheel” and might be a good deal, and might not. Without the assistance of an criminal defense attorney, you will be guessing as to what is your best course of action.
Should I plead guilty or go to trial?
Whether to hire a criminal defense attorney to defend you against a criminal charge is the first, most important decision in your case. Who will be your criminal defense attorney is your second, most important decision in your case. You must hire an attorney with whom you are comfortable communicating and trusting.
Whether to plead guilty or go to trial is one of the next, most important decisions in your case. This is one of your criminal defense attorney’s first main mission: helping to negotiate a plea offer or plea bargain that is at least as attractive as going to trial. When your criminal defense attorney negotiates a plea bargain or plea offer like this, he has given the defendant a true, meaningful choice.