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Trial Versus Plea
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If a case is not “thrown out” with a Motion to Dismiss, it is likely that it will go to trial or be resolved with a plea. In the case of most adult criminal trails, a jury is involved in the resolving the case. In cases involving a jury, the jury must find that the State has proven the individual’s guilt beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.
If the jury cannot come to this conclusion and instead returns a not guilty verdict, then the individual is free to go on that charge. If the jury does believe that the State has proven the individual’s guilt, then it is up to the judge in the case to determine the sentencing.
In the case of felonies, the judge will usually follow the Criminal Punishment Code, which lists different degrees and maximum sentences for different crimes. The judge is legally allowed to sentence the individual to anything up to the maximum penalty under the law.
Guilty Plea Agreements
In some cases, the defendant believes that he/she will be found guilty, and does not want to risk the maximum penalty. In these circumstances, the State and Defense attorneys can come together and negotiate a guilty plea agreement. Under these circumstance, the defendant agrees to plea 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. Guilty pleas also allow the defendant to resolve the case quickly and avoid the possibility of multiple court appearances while waiting for an available jury to be selected to try the case.
Need Advice on Your Criminal Law Case?
If you are involved in a criminal law case and need advice about whether to take it to trial or negotiate with the State, contact the Draper Law Office today. Our Kissimmee criminal defense attorneys work with clients in the Central Florida area to get them the best possible outcome to their cases.
Call us toll free at 866.767.4711
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