Almost All Criminal Cases End In Plea Bargains.
An overwhelming majority of the cases we handle end in plea bargains. In every case we handle I communicate the plea offers made by the state’s prosecutors to the client and the client makes the final decision to take the offer or to decline it.
Most Of My Dealings
In most of our dealings, there is a point where both the client and the State’s lawyer reach a fair compromise. Most cases will settle. Nonetheless, a distinction can be made between our lawyers and other lawyers who plead out far more cases. Compare the lawyer who tries roughly 5% of the cases they handle, with 95% settling, to the one who settles 99% of their cases and only tries 1%. Assuming they have a similar volume of cases, the second lawyer tries roughly five times more cases than the next guy and still negotiates the overwhelming majority of cases.
Willingness And Ability
The willingness and ability to try cases directly impacts our abilities as a negotiator. Having a reputation as an effective litigator makes opposing counsel take an honest look at the potential problems with his or her case. That fact plus the prosecution’s limited budget, making them unwilling to try every case, means that a criminally accused represented by a skilled trial lawyer who demands a jury trial has to be considered a resource drain regardless of the outcome. This puts the state’s prosecutors in a position of negotiating and offering something fair so they will not have to try the case and potentially lose after a great expenditure of resources.
Consider This Hypothetically
The trial lawyer who does not get an acceptable offer will try the case to a jury. What does the other lawyer who does not try cases do? Come back in a month and say please? Try to persuade one of the supervising prosecuting attorneys higher up in the chain of command? More likely, he or she will plead the client out to the first offer the prosecutors made.