Suppose you’re facing criminal charges in the East Bay for the first time in your life. Now you’re wondering, “Will my case go to trial? Will I have to sit in jail as I wait for my case to conclude?” These are valid questions indeed and because we’re asked these questions a lot, we decided to dedicate a post to the subject.
From where you stand, there are three possible outcomes for your case: It can be dismissed due to lack of evidence or inadmissible evidence, it can be resolved through a plea bargain, or it can go to trial. Of the three possibilities, over 90 percent of criminal cases are resolved through a negotiated plea deal between the defendant, the prosecutor, and the defense lawyer.
How will your case end? We cannot give you a definitive answer because we don’t know the facts of your case. However, we can tell you that the outcome depends on the following factors: 1) your actual guilt or innocence, 2) the amount of hard evidence against you, 3) if the case is based on “circumstantial evidence,” and 4) how you want to proceed.
Defendants Can’t Be Forced to Take Plea Deals
While the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved through negotiated plea bargains, defendants cannot be forced to accept just any deal. A prosecutor can say, “Here’s the best deal we’re going to offer you,” but if you don’t like what’s on the table, you can say, “No thanks, I’ll take my chances at trial.”
In any case, your defense attorney will advise you on the best and worst possible outcomes, but the ultimate decision to take a deal or risk a jury trial lies within you. Much of it will come down to the strength of the prosecutor’s case and your guilt or innocence.
For example, if you made a mistake and the state’s case is a slam-dunk, you may be better off taking a deal rather than going through a lengthy trial. On the other hand, if you’re 100% innocent and the DA won’t back down, you’d probably prefer going to trial rather than pleading guilty to something you didn’t do, even if they try to get you to plead guilty to a “lesser offense.” As far as jail is concerned, it depends on a number of factors, but we can shed light on the subject if you’re able to meet with a member of our legal team.
Facing criminal charges in Oakland or anywhere else in the East Bay? Let us help you decide on the best defense strategy. Call today for a FREE consultation.