Though your criminal defense attorney will likely have an opinion about whether you want to take your criminal case to trial or accept a plea bargain, at the end of the day it is the defendant who is almost always the one to make the decision. Keep reading to learn more about this – and the exceptions. Then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 if you are in need of a criminal defense attorney.
What Happens When the Lawyer and Defendant Do Not Agree?
Whether to go to trail or take a pela bargain is one of the most fundamental issues that are involved in criminal trials. In almost all cases, if the defendant and lawyer do not agree, the attorney is the agent of the defendant and must carry out the decision of said defendant. If the lawyer strongly believes it is not the right option, they can try to withdraw from the case but they must be able to prove to the judge that there is reason to do so.
There are exceptions. For example, if the defendant’s decision is unethical or illegal, then the attorney does not have to follow what the defendant wants. For example, if the defendant told the attorney where there was evidence and instructed their attorney to destroy said evidence, the attorney would do not do so as it would be both unethical and unlawful.
Attorneys Are Required to Communicate Any Plea Bargain Offer
Just like an attorney is required to move forward with the wishes of their client, they are legally obligated to inform their clients of any offer of a plea bargain. If their client has made an offer to plead, then the attorney is also legally required to relay that to the prosecutor. It does not matter if the attorney believes it is an entirely unrealistic offer – the information must be given to each party.
Is it Best to Plead or Go to Trial?
There is no easy answer to this question. It largely depends on the charge, the evidence, and the potential consequences versus what is being offered as a pela deal. For example, if a person is accused of a misdemeanor theft crime, there is a wealth of evidence, and the prosecutor offers a plea bargain that does not include jail time, then it may be worth taking.
On the other hand, if there is not a lot of evidence, or the offer the prosecution is offering essentially the same sentence you would get if you were convicted by a jury, then it may not make sense to go to trial. When you work with Law Office of Michael L. Fell, you can always count on us to provide you with an honest assessment of your options. While the ultimate decision is yours to make, we will ensure that you are making an informed decision. Call us now at (949) 585-9055 to get the process started.