Few things are worse than being accused of committing a crime. That said, with a seasoned OKC criminal defense lawyer in your corner, you stand a far greater chance of beating your charges or reaching a more favorable result. In some cases, there are benefits of accepting a plea deal, but in others, it’s well worth it to take a case to trial. Please continue reading and reach out to Jones Law Firm to learn more about whether it may be best to plead guilty or take a case to trial here in the state of Oklahoma. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What happens if I plead guilty?
When you plead guilty to a crime, it means you’re acknowledging that you committed the crime and that you will face the consequences the crime imposes on you. In most cases, you will initially plead not guilty, and after your attorney negotiates with a judge, they may offer you a plea bargain, meaning you will face a lesser sentence than initially imposed, but you will still face consequences. The benefits of accepting a plea bargain can include a quicker resolution to your case, a lower cost than taking your case to trial, and a degree of certainty that simply is not present when taking a case to trial.
That said, once you accept a plea bargain, you’re admitting guilt. If you’re truly innocent, this can feel like you’re betraying yourself. Additionally, if you plead guilty, you will automatically be convicted of a crime, will have to face criminal consequences, and will develop a criminal record.
So should I take my case to trial?
It depends. If you are not offered a favorable plea bargain or were unable to have your charges dismissed, you may wish to take your case to trial, where your attorney will argue your innocence in front of a jury, and the jury will decide your fate. If you are truly innocent, or, at the very least, have a very strong defense, you may benefit from taking your case to trial. However, you should understand that trials can be time-consuming and costly, and they are, in some ways “all or nothing.” Once you’re convicted, the judge will have discretion over what penalties you will face, and there will be no chance of a plea bargain.
Ultimately, deciding on whether to accept a plea deal or take your case to trial will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. If you are currently facing criminal charges of any kind, the most important thing you can do is retain the services of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who can inform you of your options, determine the best strategy, and from there, fight for the best outcome possible on your behalf.