Once they have been formally charged with a crime of violence, defendants are often surprised by the many decisions they face. Most mistakenly believe they are powerless against an experienced prosecutor, but this is not so. As a U.S. citizen, you have civil and constitutional rights allowing you to participate in your defense.
One decision you will face if you have been accused of criminal wrongdoing is whether to plead guilty or take your case to trial. Those who are charged with crimes they did not commit often feel they should fight in court to prove their innocence, but just as pleading guilty is not always wise, nor is opting to fight charges without carefully considering the unique ins and outs of your situation.
How will a trial impact your life?
Crimes involving violence tend to attract a lot of attention, meaning it could be harder to keep your troubles out of the public eye if you choose to fight your charges at trial. As a result, your professional and personal reputation could suffer. If you win the case, you may be able to repair the damage, but if you lose, it might be harder to recover your good name. With that said, pleading guilty can result in the same challenges unless you’re eligible for diversion or some other solution that will allow you to navigate your situation more quietly than going to trial would allow.
What are your odds of winning?
The justice system is all we have, but it is not infallible. The judge or jury could misinterpret the facts of a complex assault case, leading to an undeserved conviction. Be realistic when weighing your chances of winning. Seeking legal guidance concerning criminal proceedings in Maryland could help you determine your odds of success more accurately.
The thought of enduring a stint behind bars or paying expensive fines and fees sometimes affects the legal decisions criminal defendants face. Take your time when making critical choices to better ensure you have the best chance of obtaining a good outcome.