Will My Criminal Case Go to Trial?
If you are facing criminal charges in West Palm Beach, surely you have a lot of questions. Will your case go to trial? Will you accept a plea bargain? Should you accept a plea bargain?
I'll tell you right now, Florida prosecutors are overloaded with cases, and the courts are also overwhelmed. That being said, prosecutors are inclined to offer plea bargains.
Prosecutors would much rather enter a plea agreement with a minor offense than spend time on a full-blown trial. The main reason is they'd rather focus their energy and effort on the bigger cases – I'm talking about the homicides and big drug trafficking schemes –those types of cases.
So, if you're facing lower-level charges, the prosecutor will likely push for a deal rather than go to trial. Also, prosecutors are interested in winning. If a defendant wants to go to trial and fight their charges and the prosecutor is not confident he or she will win, once again they'll push for a plea bargain.
Ultimately, the Decision is the Defendant's
Sometimes a defendant is adamant that they are innocent or they did nothing wrong. Perhaps the defendant acted out of self-defense, or perhaps the defendant was wrongfully accused. In these situations, the defendant may have no interest in "pleading guilty to lesser charges."
For example, let's say a woman was a victim of abuse at the hands of her husband. One day, he was abusing her young son and she hit her husband over the head with a lamp, knocking him out and causing a concussion. She did what she had to do, and she refuses to take a plea bargain. In this case, it would be reasonable for her to go to trial if the prosecutor wouldn't drop the charges against her.
Whether or not a criminal defendant wishes to accept a plea bargain – the decision is always up to the defendant. Even if the defense attorney encourages the defendant to take a deal, it's not the lawyer's decision. It's up to the defendant. However, defendants should always listen to their attorneys' advice, but that doesn't mean they have to take it.
If a defendant will not offer or accept a plea bargain, then what happens from there is the case moves to trial. Regardless of the defendant's position, it is their defense lawyer's legal obligation to relay all information between the prosecution and the defendant. For example, if the prosecution makes an offer, the defense has to relay it to the defendant and vice versa.
Need a West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer? Contact my firm immediately to schedule a free consultation!