Plea Agreements Versus Going to Trial

Monday, June 5, 2017

Plea Agreements Versus Going to Trial 

If your case is not dismissed after filing a Motion to Dismiss, then it is likely that your case will go to trial or be resolved with a plea agreement. If the prosecution offers you a plea agreement, you will have the opportunity to decide whether or not to accept the terms of the plea agreement. If you do not accept a plea agreement then your case will go to trial. In most adult criminal trials, a jury will decide whether you are guilty or innocent of the crime of which you are charged.

You have the right to legal representation in all stages of your criminal case. A criminal defense attorney can help you review your situation and determine the best course of action to get the charges reduced or dropped.

Plea Agreements

A plea agreement, or plea bargain, offered by the prosecutor is a deal where you agree to plead guilty to certain crimes in exchange for reduced charges, a reduced sentence, or dropping related criminal charges.

The prosecutor and your defense attorney can negotiate a plea agreement. It is important that you have a full understanding of the details of your plea agreement.

Why would someone willingly plead guilty?

If the defendant believes that it's likely that he or she will be found guilty at trial, then a plea agreement may be the best solution to get a lesser sentence and avoid risking the maximum penalty. Essentially, the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a charge in order to receive a lighter sentence than what might have been handed down with a guilty verdict from a jury trial.

Jury Criminal Trials

When no please agreement can be reached, the criminal case goes to trial. To find the defendant guilty, the jury must find that the prosecutor proved the defendant's guilt beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.

If the jury cannot find that the prosecutor proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt, they must return a verdict of not guilty. After a not guilty finding, the defendant is free to go. If the jury finds that the state met its burden of proof, then it must return a guilty verdict. Thereafter it is up to the judge in the case to determine the sentencing.

Need Advice on Your Florida Criminal Law Case?

If you have been charged with a crime in Florida and need advice on whether to accept a plea agreement or to take your case to trial, contact Draper Law Office today (866) 767-4711 or fill out this simple web form. Our experienced criminal law defense attorneys will work to get you the best possible outcome in your case. We offer free consultations on all criminal law matters.

Draper Law Office proudly serves clients throughout Central Florida, including Kissimmee, St. Cloud, and Orlando, and Osceola County and Orange County, FL.

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