It is a common misconception that most criminal cases are tried in court. The truth is that the vast majority of cases never go to trial. This is because prosecutors push defendants to take a plea deal as often as possible in order to save the state time and resources.
If you were ever to be charged with a crime, you would - statistically speaking - be most likely to take a plea bargain or simply plead guilty. Does this mean that you don't need the help of a criminal defense attorney? The answer to that question depends on whether or not you value your rights, your freedom and your future.
Pleading guilty, with or without a plea deal, is sometimes the sensible option. But you wouldn't necessarily know what your full options are until you discuss your case with an attorney whose job is to represent your best interests. Consider:
- The evidence against you is too strong to fight the charges? Some of it might have been collected illegally.
- You said something during questioning that made you sound guilty? You may have spoken without understanding your rights or said it because you felt threatened.
- You failed a breathalyzer or field sobriety test? The machines may have been improperly calibrated or the officer made a mistake that could have skewed test results.
- You just want to plead guilty in order to quickly resolve the charges? You may be missing an opportunity for a better plea deal than the one prosecutors are offering you.
No matter what course of action you decide to take (guilty or no-contest plea, plea bargain or going to trial), the decision should not be made until you fully understand all of your options and their potential consequences. The best way to make an informed decision is to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney.