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Criminal Defense 101: Could my case go to trial?

If you are facing a criminal charge, the decision to go to trial is ultimately up to you. There will come a point in your case when you have to decide on one of two options: 1) accept the plea agreement or 2) go to trial. Most defendants — particularly those accused of relatively low-level misdemeanors — tend to reach a plea agreement rather than go to trial. However, you have a right to go to trial and defend against the charge.

Prepare for trial while also working toward an acceptable plea agreement

Whether the charge is a misdemeanor or felony, an experienced criminal defense attorney will always prepare for a trial. An experienced criminal defense attorney will also, at the same time, prepare for a possible plea agreement. Why both? Making your case trial-ready is the best way to build the strongest possible defense in your case.

It also helps to have on your side a defense attorney who is known for winning not-guilty verdicts at trial. That kind of reputation puts prosecutors on alert that, if a trial happens, the defense will have a thoroughly prepared defense theory that could lead to a not-guilty verdict. Prosecutors do not like not-guilty verdicts, and in many cases, it is possible to get charges reduced or dismissed when the prosecution is facing the possibility of a trial.

For more on choosing a defense lawyer for your case, please see our previous post, “Tips for selecting the right criminal defense attorney in Wisconsin.”

Our Videos also provide helpful information for anyone facing a criminal charge anywhere in Wisconsin.