Title:Should you plead or go to trial on criminal charges in federal court?
Description:Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Barton Morris describes the steps a defendant should take when deciding whether to plead or go to trial.
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Should you plead or go to trial on criminal charges in federal court?

The decision whether to plead guilty or to go to trial is an essential, very important decision that is made in every single case and it should not be taken lightly. That first thing that needs to be done is a full investigation and analysis of the case. In federal cases, this can be very extensive and lengthy; sometimes it’s a continuing process.

It is also very important to understand the trial process. I believe only a true trial attorney can make a determination as to whether somebody should go to trial. Because only a true, experienced federal trial attorney can advise somebody about the risks of going to trial versus the rewards of going to trial, and then putting that in context with the alternative, which is a plea agreement.

Some plea agreements are more favorable than others. Usually the best plan is to prepare for trial while all along attempting to resolve an agreement before trial. If a good plea offer comes up, then you take advantage of it. If not, you’re prepared for trial and you’re ready to win the case.