When it comes to pleading guilty of a federal crime, there are a few ways you can do this. You can plead contested or uncontested. Contested means you are not admitting to the crime, but you are going to be charged and sentenced as if you did do the crime. Uncontested means you are not fighting the charges but just looking for the best deal possible. When it comes to federal charges, many people plead guilty to get their time down, especially since more federal prison sentences start near the 12-year mark. Pleading guilty will usually cause you to only do about 25% of your time. This is sometimes even lower if there is a victim who does not want to sit through a trial for weeks.
When you decide to go to trial, you are putting everything on the line. If you are found guilty, you will have to serve the maximum penalty in prison, and there is usually no way for you to argue this when it comes to sentencing day. One of the good things about going to trial is that you are going to be able to tell your side of the story. This can come in the form of witnesses, your own testimony, and physical evidence. Furthermore, you may also get to have the media get involved with daily reporting of the trial. This will allow you to make your plead known to the entire community. Another great thing about going to trial is that you may win. If you do win, all of the charges will be dropped immediately. You can go on with your daily life, and you do not have every worry about going back to court on those specific charges. However, you just need to remember that there is a chance you will lose.
A good federal attorney will give you the perfect advice. After looking at the charges the decision will be made by the attorney. If you agree with the attorney’s decision, he/she will most likely represent you. This attorney will give you a detailed explanation as to why you should or should not go to trial. This will solely be based on a percentage perspective. The attorney will show you the percentage risk of going to trial as opposed to the percentage risk of pleading guilty. After observing this information, you may be more comfortable with the attorney. The great thing about going through this process is that you can tell whether the attorney is serious or just wants to make a quick thousand dollars.
Any type of federal charges are serious. You cannot just decide to go to trial or to plead guilty. This decision in itself is going to take some time because this decision can push your life forward or hold your life back. However, when the information is explained to you by a lawyer, it will most likely make more sense and even calm you down. The great thing about having a good attorney is that the attorney will study similar cases to yours. After presenting this to the court, the judge and the prosecutor will have to obey certain guidelines, especially when it comes to the sentencing factor. This will help the attorney put together a defense around those guidelines.