Law Office of John W. Noonan
925-463-3340 Call For A Free Initial Consultation Se Habla Español Available 24/7

Slippery slope in criminal law: Take a plea or go to trial?

Imagine a California criminal suspect who is innocent of the charges he or she is facing, yet hesitates to go to trial. Many people similarly waver, owing to fears that a jury might see things negatively in their case and deliver a verdict marked by a draconian sentence.

Now imagine a scenario where issues surrounding innocence are less clear, but a defendant thinks that a jury verdict could yield an outcome superior to a plea bargain deal.

What does an individual do under such circumstances? Juries are subjective entities that can weigh in with unjust results even when the people they are adjudging are innocent. Guess right and, well, you’re right. Evaluate matters wrongly, and you could be fated to a harsh prison sentence.

A recent national media piece notes that “jury trials are always a crap shoot” and that legions of defendants across the United States opt to avoid their constitutional right to a trial because they fear “the trial penalty.”

That is this, as underscored in a recent report issued by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys: flat-out empirical evidence indicating that persons found guilty in a trial receive prison sentences that are on average “more than triple the average post-plea sentence.”

That obviously leads to huge numbers of instances – daily, for decades now – of criminal suspects forgoing their trial right to live instead with the terms of a plea agreement.

How many people pursue pleas or see their cases resolved in non-trial ways? Reportedly, only about 3 percent of all criminal suspects ever see a judge and jury in court.

There is nearly endless debate on the subject of eroding liberties posed by the trial penalty and the prevalence of pleas that allow for a swifter “justice” and help keep court dockets clear.

We don’t join that debate in today’s post. What any proven criminal defense attorney will say regarding the matter, though, is that any person accused of criminal behavior who faces a trial-versus-plea choice is best served by a lawyer who is knowledgeable, aggressive and always read to go to trial. That readiness is what produces both optimal trial outcomes and best-case terms in any plea agreement.

Recent Case Results

  • Drunk Driving Offenses

    John was able to get client a reduction of charge of a DUI because of being a nurse it could mean her license.

    He secured a Drunk in Public , and she would attend a 3 month program. Additionally, the dmv hearing was also set aside.

    Both being a win for the client.

    Read More
  • Domestic Violence

    A client was arrested for a Felony Domestic Violence, could have devastated her potential for future employment. John was able to get the case dismissed. Client was thrilled.

    Read More
  • Juvenile Charges

    A juvenile was arrested for 2nd Degree Robbery. After 6 months the case was dismissed.

    A juvenile was arrested for Sexual Battery. After 6 months and 80 hours of Community service, the case was dismissed.

    Read More
  • Drunk Driving Offenses

    A client with a 1st DUI arrest. Fearing she would go to jail; lose her license for a year and lose her job. Got a wet reckless and minimal fines.

    Read More
  • Drug Charges

    A client with 4 Felony charges on a Transportation Charge, a Attempt to Sell, Possession of Marijuana, (50 pounds), Conspiracy Charge all where reduced to 1 Misdemeanor. No Jail.

    Client was charged with 6 Felony drug possessions. Facing jail time. The results: Client got a deferred entry of judgment and then dismissed.

    Client charged with several felony counts of possession of Marijuana with intent to sell. Client was involved in a medical marijuana grow. Case was reduced and later dismissed.

    Read More
  • Sex Crimes

    A client with alleged 2 Felony Sex charges and he faced jail and sex registration. The case was entirely dismissed.

    Client charged with prostitution; facing jail time and sex offender registration. Result: NO JAIL TIME AND NO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION Deferred Entry of Judgment.

    Read More
  • Domestic Violence

    Client charged with domestic violence, with great bodily injury. Case reduced to a misdemeanor with time served.

    Read More
Email Us For A Response

Learn How We Can Help

Contact Information

Areas We Serve

Dublin Office
6379 Clark Avenue
Suite 250
Dublin, CA 94568

Phone: 925-463-3340
Fax: 925-479-0015
Dublin Law Office Map

Manteca Office
210 East Center Street
Suite 10
Manteca, CA 95336

Phone: 925-463-3340
Fax: 925-479-0015
Manteca Law Office Map

Back To Top