Is it better to accept a plea bargin or go to trial?

Most cases in which criminal charges are filed can be resolved through skillful negotiation and without the necessity of trial. Negotiations can result in a wide variety of outcomes, ranging from a dismissal of charges to a plea bargain agreement involving incarceration. Of course, the choice of whether to accept a plea bargain must be made by the accused and should be made only after investigating the facts of the case and studying the available alternatives as well as the terms of the plea bargain offer. Though most cases are resolved without trial, sometimes trial presents a more attractive option. Therefore, it is important to keep the trial option open and to be represented by an attorney who is both willing and able to represent you at trial.

For example, in 99.9% of DWI trials, the punishment after a trial is the same as the plea bargain offer prior to trial. In other words, there is no real “risk” to proceeding to trial. While a trial will cost more than a plea bargain, the possibility of an acquittal may be worth the money to you.

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10.0Katheryn H. Haywood
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