Many times, whether or not we take a case to trial hinges on the client. Can the client be patient with the amount of time and preparation that it takes to get to trial? Is the client’s expectations managed about the number of court appearances that are involved? Is the client prepared for the expense that is involved, not just with the trial but potentially hiring experts and hiring an investigator? Is the client determined to defend their innocence? Managing the client’s expectations is crucial – for many of our clients it is the first time they’ve ever been involved in the court process and they just need someone who will take the time to explain “what happens next” and to educate them on the pros and cons. If a client is willing and ready to go forward with the trial then we are eager, resilient, and tenacious about defending them in front of a jury.
As far as taking a plea offer is concerned, even if the client wants to get this over with as quickly as possible, we would still conduct an analysis of the case and provide the client with options and potential outcomes if they were to continue fighting. We would advise them of their rights to go through a jury trial, ensure that the decision to plea is something that the clients truly wants to do after being fully informed and educated, and then strategize with them about steps for the future to prevent repeat convictions and clean their record if applicable.
If taking a deal is what the client chooses, then of course, we will aim to secure the best in line with the client’s goals. Whether that be keeping them out of custody, reducing the exposure, reducing the probation term, securing a dismissal at a future date, avoiding a crime of moral turpitude, and so on.