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Plea bargain or trial?

Depending on the nature of your criminal charges, you may face a number of different judgment scenarios, if you cannot compel the court to drop the charges. In very broad strokes, you may resolve your charges in four basic ways — through trial by jury, trial by judge, plea bargain or by defeating the charges altogether.

Very few cases make it to a courtroom at all in the criminal justice system. The volume of charges handed out in a given jurisdiction, even in an area as moderately sized as Clarksville, is usually too great for a judge or jury to hear every single set of charges brought against an individual. This means that many times, a prosecutor will offer the defendant a plea bargain. Such a deal offers a reduced punishment in exchange for a guilty plea. Accepting a plea bargain is usually not the best option, but it may be the best option available. Be sure that you have all the legal counsel you need to protect your rights through a plea bargain.

If the case does move to court, it may go before a judge or a jury, depending on a number of factors. In some cases, you may be able to push for one over the other. A trial by judge may be preferable if you have a reasonable legal case to use in your defense, while a jury may be preferable if you believe that you have a strong emotional argument for your innocence. Again, there countless factors that go into each case, so it is absolutely crucial that you seek out professional legal counsel before you take any drastic action about your criminal charges.

Source: FindLaw, "Judge versus Jury Trials," accessed Oct. 13, 2017

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