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Should I Take My Criminal Case to Trial? Contact Us
Indianapolis Criminal & OWI Lawyers > Blog > Criminal Defense > Should I Take My Criminal Case to Trial?

Should I Take My Criminal Case to Trial?


If you are facing criminal charges in Indiana, there are two ways you can resolve your case. The first option is through a plea agreement. A plea agreement is the most common way cases are resolved. This option involves the prosecution and the defendant reaching an agreement outside of court. In this agreement, the defendant pleads guilty in exchange for a benefit. For example, a defendant may plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence. In another example, a defendant may plead guilty to some crimes for dismissals of other crimes. For instance, if you are charged with three offenses, you may plead guilty to one charge in exchange for dismissals of the other two charges. However, the court must approve a plea agreement before it goes into effect. The second option involves going to trial, challenging the prosecution’s evidence, and presenting defenses.

So, should you take your criminal case to trial? There is no simple answer to this question. Whether or not you should take your case to trial or negotiate a plea agree depends on the specifics of your case. It is best to consult a qualified defense attorney. An attorney can assess the specifics of your case and advise you accordingly. However, even before consulting an attorney, read on for some of the considerations that come into play when making the crucial decision of whether or not to take a criminal case to trial.

The Strength of the Prosecution’s Case Against You

One of the things you need to consider when determining whether or not to take a criminal case to trial is the strength of the prosecution’s case against you. If the evidence against you is overwhelming, it is likely best to consider negotiating a plea agreement to resolve the case. On the other hand, if the evidence against you is weak, it may be more advisable to go to trial. If the prosecution’s case against you is weak, an attorney can help you best challenge the evidence against you.

The Favorability of the Plea Offer

Another important consideration that comes into play when deciding whether to take a criminal case to trial is the terms of the plea offer. If the prosecutor is willing to negotiate a reasonable plea agreement, it is worth considering accepting the plea offer. However, you should leave the work of determining the reasonableness and favorability of a plea offer to a qualified defense attorney.

The Defenses Available

You should also consider the defenses available in your case before deciding whether to take your criminal case to trial. If you don’t have a strong defense for the charges, you will risk a worse outcome following conviction through the loss at trial versus conviction through a plea agreement.  Examples of defenses in criminal cases include alibi, lack of intent, mistaken identity, and entrapment but you should rely on the advice of an experienced trial attorney to assess the strength of the defense in your case.

Potential Penalties

Finally, when the prosecution makes a plea offer, you should consider the terms offered in light of the potential consequences you face if you are convicted.  All trials are unpredictable.  Having a strong defense, and an experienced attorney, do not guarantee a not guilty verdict.

Contact an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing criminal charges in Indiana, contact our skilled Indianapolis criminal defense lawyers at Rigney Law LLC for legal guidance.

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