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Will My Criminal Case Go to Trial?

Are you facing criminal charges in Schenectady? If this is your first run-in with the law, you probably have a LOT of questions. “Will I go to jail or prison? Will I have to pay a hefty fine? Will my case involve a jury trial?” In this post, we’re going to address the last question about trial because this question comes up in virtually every criminal case we handle.

Will your case go to trial? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on different factors, such as the strength of the prosecutor’s case, the available evidence, and your guilt or innocence. If you were caught red-handed and there is a mountain of evidence against you, it may be in your best interests to negotiate a favorable plea bargain.

If the prosecution’s case is weak and circumstantial at best, a jury trial may be in order. If you’re 100% innocent, it wouldn’t make sense to enter a plea deal if you’re not guilty. If you’re wrongfully accused and the prosecution refuses to drop the charges, a trial may be in your best interests.

Most Cases Resolve with Plea Bargains

While we’re on the topic of criminal trials, we want you to know that by far the vast majority of criminal cases do not resolve through trials, but through negotiated plea deals. In fact, many defense attorneys would say that 90 to 95% of criminal cases are resolved through plea bargaining and there are valid reasons why.

Reasons plea bargains are beneficial for the prosecution:

  • Court calendars are notorious for being clogged. For this reason, judges pressure prosecutors to resolve cases through plea bargains.
  • Plea bargains are less of a burden on taxpayers.
  • Prosecutors hate to lose. They’d prefer a defendant to plead guilty to a lesser offense over losing at trial. This way, their track record shows a history of winning cases.

Why plea bargains benefit defendants:

  • Defendants can have peace of mind knowing what to expect.
  • Defendants get a less-stigmatized offense on their record.
  • Usually, the fines and sentencing are lighter. Sometimes they’re much lighter.
  • Instead of sitting in jail awaiting trial, the defendant may be released from custody so they can go home to their families and jobs.

Will Your Case Go to Trial?

Without knowing the facts of the case, we cannot say what path is best, but we can say that ultimately, the decision to accept a plea bargain or go to trial is up to you. A defendant cannot be forced to accept a plea deal against their will. If we are not able to get the charges dropped or the case dismissed, we’ll explore all of your options for the best possible outcome.

If you’re facing criminal charges, contact our firm 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a case evaluation with a Schenectady criminal defense lawyer!