Defense Strategy – Plea Deal Or Criminal Trial?

Your defense strategy comes down to what makes the most sense for you, and the only person who can make that decision is you. A major aspect of your defense will be whether to pursue a plea deal. There are pros and cons to this decision, but you can’t make an informed decision without knowing more about the options.

At Whiteaker & Wilson, PC d/b/a Law Office of Stuart P. Huffman, our attorneys protect the legal rights of individuals in state and federal charges. They work diligently for people in Springfield, and they dedicate considerable time to understanding what our clients need and educating them on their options. The drawbacks and advantages of any choice, such as a plea deal, are always unique to the individual, but below are some general points to consider.

Pros: Faster, Cheaper, Lower Stakes

A plea deal is a speedway through the criminal justice system. It allows the prosecution and you to avoid a lengthy, uncertain trial and “lock in” a result. However, it is a deal, and for that to work, they have to give you something. This can mean a reduced sentence or a lower charge.

Choosing to go this way serves to make the court system work faster. It also can make sure that you don’t face the maximum penalty for your charges. You remove uncertainty and, possibly, have a less difficult sentence.

Cons: Guaranteed Criminal Record, Guaranteed Sentence

A plea deal is a way for the prosecutor to get an easy win at your expense. If you plead guilty, then that guilty verdict will go on your permanent record. You will serve the sentence you were offered, and you will have no recourse for an appeal.

Your Alternative: Trial

Going to trial is far less certain. However, if a plea deal is the prosecution’s only option, then its evidence against you may not be strong. Additionally, in a trial that doesn’t go your way, you do have the option to consider an appeal to a higher court.

It Is Your Decision

Whether you choose a plea deal or a trial is a strategy that has absolutely nothing to do with your innocence. In fact, many innocent people plead guilty to crimes simply because they don’t think they have a chance. Only you can decide what the right path forward is, and you deserve to understand every possible outcome.

Talk to our lawyers about your charges and your chances, and they can help guide you to a decision that makes sense for you. Call us for a free consultation at 417-413-5858 or send us an email using this form.