The Value of Trial Experience
Our goal in every case is to minimize the consequences of the trouble you are already in. We do not have a time machine, so we can only deal with the facts and the law as they exist when we meet.
The Defense Group’s first objective in nearly every case is to get the case dismissed. This minimizes the consequences for the client, and it prevents everyone involved from getting tangled up in an unnecessary trial. This of course, is what every client would like to see happen to resolve their case. However, some cases cannot be dismissed. If the case cannot be dismissed, the remaining options include a negotiated plea, a diversion program, or a trial. Some cases cannot be resolved with a plea offer that is acceptable to our client, and diversion is not offered, so the options come down to a bad plea or a trial.
When this happens, it is important to be represented by a legal team that is actually experienced in going to trial. There are many law firms that “specialize” in pleading out their clients to whatever offer the State makes. Sometimes a plea offer is in the client’s best interest because the risk at trial is high and the plea offer is a fair compromise. Sometimes however, the full consequences of a negotiated plea are still so Draconian that a trial is the better alternative.
In order to properly assist in these cases, a defense lawyer needs to have trial experience, as the prosecutors in a trial almost certainly will. The trial lawyers at The Defense group have hundreds of trials behind them. We have developed the special skills that are necessary to present a case to a judge and jury. Just as you would not want to be the young surgeon’s fist heart transplant patient, you do not want an attorney who never goes to trial getting his early experience on your case.
Notwithstanding the information and advice above, it is important to understand that your case is not a TV episode. While a trial may be the only way to get a case entirely dismissed, it also carries with it the risk of a harsher penalty than might be arranged without a trial. Less than 2% of all criminal cases actually go to trial. There are not enough judges, prosecutors, courtrooms or other support personnel to have all cases resolved by a trial. While the term “plea negotiations” has received a bad name in our society, it is often t a client’s advantage to consider a negotiated plea. Sometimes, the prosecutor may offer a plea to a reduced charge. The offer may be for probation inste4rad of jail or prison. The offer may include a “withhold of adjudication” so that you do not wind up with a conviction. The single most important advantage to a negotiated plea is the certainty of the outcome. It is hard to overstate the emotional cost of placing your future in the hands of 6-12 jurors. Until they return with the verdict, you do not know your fate.
At The Defense Group, the decision of whether to accept a plea offer or to go to trial is always yours. Our experienced team will discuss with you the evidence that the State intends to use against you. We will discuss the legal issues involved. We will discuss the maximum risk at trial. We will offer our best assessment of our chances at trial (there are NEVER any guarantees as to how six strangers will view the evidence) and then we allow you to make the final decision.
Take comfort I the fact that should you decide that you want to go to trial, that the experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Defense Group are also experienced trial lawyers.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for any criminal offense, Contact an attorney at The Defense Group through our website or call us at 407-831-1956 or 352-742-9090 for a FREE CONSULTATION. We are available 24 hours a day for your emergency needs, and we are ready and willing to arrange appointments for nights or weekends if necessary.
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