Plea versus Trial – Odds May Be Against the Truly Innocent (Attorney)

A recent study of those charged with felony crimes as reported data from State Court statistics examined differences in the outcomes achieved by the public defender, assigned counsel, and private attorneys.  One of the most shocking statistics in the study is the percentage of defendants that end up pleading guilty to felony charges.  Regardless of the type of attorney they had, some 96 to 97% of those charged ended up pleading guilty.

That might suggest that there are not that many truly innocent people who are charged with felonies.  On the other hand, it may indicate that at least some are pleading rather than run the risk of being found guilty, even if they are innocent.

Obviously, if you are charged with a felony, you and your attorney need to discuss your options.  Further, you need to realize that criminal attorneys of all types only go to trial in 3 to 4% of the cases they handle.  You need to make sure that your attorney is comfortable in court and is willing to fight for you if you decide that is the best option for you.

For those who are convicted, whether by trial or plea, there is a difference in the outcomes in terms of whether the convicted goes to prison or jail.  78% of convicted defendants represented by assigned counsel and 74% represented by public defenders received an incarceration sentence.  For private attorneys, only 66% of convicted defendants went to jail.

Some of this difference may be due to socioeconomic differences.  Those who can afford to hire a private attorney are less likely to have prior convictions and are more likely to be white.  However, a private attorney may not have as many criminal cases competing for attention.

For more on this study, go to: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1876474

Regardless, you should consider the benefits of hiring a private attorney if you find yourself up against criminal charges.  Sanders Law Firm, PLLC is ready to help whether you face misdemeanor or felony charges.  We are not afraid of the fight.  Call us today at (336) 724-4707

Article by Randy Ivie, Attorney, Sanders Law Firm, PLLC

Kernersville Lawyers & Winston-Salem Attorneys