Most people who are charged with a criminal offense immediately start thinking of ways that they can try to beat the prosecution. Although it may be possible to beat your criminal charges and obtain dismissed charges or an acquittal, taking your case to trial may not be in your best interests. So, then, the question becomes when is it right to sit down and negotiate with prosecutors?
Analyzing your case properly
The answer to that question is dependent upon the facts of your case. Therefore, before you make a decision about sitting down with prosecutors or taking your case to trial, you should consider these factors:
- What do you hope to gain from prosecutors? If you’re hoping to convince them to drop charges, then you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. But if you’re curious about securing lesser penalties, then talking to them may be right for you.
- What facts play to your advantage? Prosecutors are more willing to bargain with you if they feel like their case has risks associated with it. So, you’ll want to ask yourself if there’s evidence that plays to your advantage in these matters and, if so, how you can go about presenting it to prosecutors in a persuasive fashion.
- Is the evidence insurmountable? In some criminal cases, there’s simply too much evidence of criminal wrongdoing to overcome. Here, it may be wise to talk to prosecutors about your options. By doing so, you may be able to obtain a better outcome for yourself.
What facts might warrant taking your case to trial?
There’s probably a lot on the line with your case, and as such you may be hesitant to risk everything by taking your case to forward. But there may be some very strong criminal defense options that can position you well for trial. These strategies can also strongly position you for negotiations with prosecutors, should you choose your case to head that direction. Here are some of those criminal defense tactics:
- Suppressing evidence when it has been illegally obtained, such as when law enforcement improperly utilized an exception to the warrant requirement.
- Filing motions in limine to block evidence from coming in when you’ve been denied a fair opportunity to vet that evidence, such as when a witness fails to appear at a deposition or the prosecution fails to produce requested documentation.
- Attacking witness credibility to force a judge or jury to give key witness testimony less weight.
- Putting forth a strong alibi that demonstrates that you couldn’t possibly be responsible for the crime in question.
- Presenting evidence that demonstrates that you lacked the requisite intent or motivation that is required by the law.
- Arguing caselaw that supports your position on certain evidentiary issues that could sway your case one way or the other.
Obtain the custom-tailored defense that you need on your side
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to criminal defense. Rather, every case is unique, and its defense should be suited to match the facts and the laws at hand. After all, a plea bargain in one case may not be fitting in another.
That’s why you need a legal advocate on your side who understands the law and can help you conduct the honest and aggressive legal analysis needed to give you a realistic perspective on your options. If you or a loved one is already facing criminal charges, then now is the time to start talking to criminal defense attorneys and assessing those options.