How to Decide If You Should Take Your Case to Trial?

You must be burdened by a hundred questions if you have been arrested and charged for the first time. Whether or not you have committed the crime, there will be several important steps that you will have to take in the upcoming weeks and months. Some of these will impact the rest of your life. One of these will be hiring a criminal attorney in Houston, Texas. Another critical decision is to decide whether you want to take your case to trial or not. (Information credit – https://www.theladylaw.com/about-us.html)

This is a decision that needs to be taken after much thought and with proper consultation with a criminal lawyer in Houston, Texas. Unless the charges against you are dismissed, you will have two options – you can either sign a guilty plea agreement or take your case to trial.

Each criminal prosecution is distinct and involves unique circumstances and facts. As such, it is never wise to compare your particular case with that of someone else’s. You should focus solely on the factors of your case and decide whether or not you should take it to trial. Some things that you should take into consideration while making this decision include:

  • Are you willing to admit guilt?

Accepting a guilty plea agreement requires you to admit in front of the court that you did commit the crime with which you have been charged. If you are innocent, you may feel you have no other option but to take your case to trial.

  • How strong is the case being put up by the State?

This is one thing that you should discuss in detail with your attorney. You should ask their opinion on how strong the State’s case is and what evidence they have to prove you guilty. After all, it is the State’s burden to prove you guilty in a criminal trial. What the State can or cannot prove affects much of the case.

  • Do you have a reliable and sound defense strategy?

Even though it isn’t your burden to prove that you are innocent, you should have a strong strategy to defend yourself well. You and your attorney should be able to get evidence excluded and create uncertainty regarding the witnesses and evidence presented by the State.

  • What is the potential penalty in case you lose the trial?

No one can guarantee the outcome of a trial. So, if you are offered a plea agreement, you should compare the sentence you will receive if you accept the agreement and the sentence you will be given at trial. Your attorney can help you negotiate the sentence in a plea agreement.

  • How favorable is the judge?

While the judges are supposed to be impartial, they are generally either pro-defense or pro-prosecution. Your attorney will be aware of the judge’s decision-making habits and can ascertain if the decision will be likely to be in your favor or against you.

These are some factors that you should consider before deciding if you should take your case to trial or not. Since each case and the circumstances surrounding it are unique, consult with an attorney to make an informed decision.

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