There are a number of factors to consider before deciding whether or not your case should go to trial:
1. Am I risking anything?
The first question to ask yourself is what are you risking by going to trial? Usually, if the Prosecutor makes you a good offer at Pre-trial, that same offer will not be available after you take your case to trial. This is fine if you win your trial, but if you lose your trial, the penalties will be more severe than the offers made before trial. If you have not been made an acceptable offer prior to trial, then taking your case to trial is not a serious risk for you.
2. What do I have to gain?
Usually cases are taken to trial only when the deal being offered by the prosecutor is unacceptable to you. The Prosecutor is under no duty to provide people with a fair offer. Offers usually given based on whether or not the Prosecutor thinks they can beat the case in trial. If the Prosecutor knows they can beat the case at trial, they will not make a client a good offer because they know they do not have to.
However just because a Prosecutor can beat a case, doesn’t mean that they are willing to do the massive amount of work that it will take to do so. When a client sets a case for trial, it forces the prosecutor to do a huge amount of trial work. Prosecutors must subpoena witnesses, gather evidence, and draft a huge amount of paperwork. Even the most basic of cases require a lot of work. By setting a case for trial even with bad facts, prosecutors will be much more likely to give a better deal just to avoid having to do the trial work. By setting the case for trial, you almost always will be offered a better deal.
3. When should I never set a case for trial?
Ultimately the decision will be up to the clients. We prefer not to set cases for trials if we believe, that either the client has a bad chance at winning or that even setting the case for trial will not result in a better offer from the prosecutor.
When choosing your California criminal attorney, you should be sure that they have solid trial experience. At Wallin and Klarich, our defense lawyer’s have all been prepared for what to expect at trial. We understand which cases should be set and which cases we should resolve.