Sunday, January 16, 2011

Shall I Go To Trial?

In a criminal trial, the prosecution bears the burden of proof. This means that to convict someone of a crime, the prosecution must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person committed the alleged crime. If charged with a crime contact the Seattle Criminal Lawyers at SQ Attorneys.

This is an incredibly high burden of proof — and rightfully so. The American justice system strives to avoid punishing people without near-certainty that they have, in fact, committed crimes.

However, not every person accused of a crime ultimately demands that the government meet this standard. Many defendants opt out of trial without requiring the government to prove its case, instead electing to make a plea bargain with the prosecutor. The Seattle Criminal Attorney at SQ Attorneys will analyze each case in great detail and give their opinion on the best course of action.

Some take this approach because the evidence is clear and they presume they will get lighter sentences if they cooperate with prosecutors. Others choose to plead guilty because of the financial costs of mounting defenses; legal fees add up quickly and for some defendants trials aren’t financially viable options. In what many fear is a growing trend though, some defendants avoid trial merely because the potential consequences of trial are too high. This is particularly true for unpopular defendants, such as those accused of defrauding thousands of stockholders or operating major financial scams.

Whether intentionally or not, the ultimate message comes across clearly: those who avail themselves of the constitutionally granted right to a jury trial risk significantly harsher penalties than those who plead guilty. Accordingly, when deciding whether to proceed to trial, guilt or innocence becomes less relevant than predicting the sentiments of a jury. A defendant must weigh the costs and benefits of trial and make an informed decision, which may have little to do with the likelihood that the prosecution can meet its burden of proof. The Washington Criminal Attorneys at SQ Attorneys are trained to best advise you of your options.

Trials will always come with uncertainties but potential criminal penalties should be carefully considered so that innocent people are not prompted to assume guilt for fear of more significant penalties at trial.

If you or a loved one is involved in a situation involving an entry into your home or residence, it is imperative that a Seattle criminal attorney be retained as soon as possible to ensure all personal, professional and financial interests are protected. Seattle criminal lawyers Greg Schwesinger and Saad Qadri of SQ Attorneys represent defendants through all phases of their Washington State criminal case, including the investigatory stage. The Seattle criminal attorneys of SQ Attorneys are experienced and proven negotiators that make a world of difference for those accused of committing a crime. SQ Attorneys is a team of seasoned Seattle criminal lawyers that work tireless to achieve the best possible outcome for each and every client they have the honor of representing. Arrested in Western Washington? Call The Criminal Defense Team of SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900 or (425) 998-8384 for an initial free consultation.

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