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Should You Plead Guilty to a Crime in Tennessee?

 Posted on March 23,2024 in Criminal Defense

TN defense lawyerIt is estimated that 98% of criminal cases never reach trial, instead they are resolved through plea bargains. A viable option in some cases, a plea bargain allows you to avoid the cost and expense of trial. With the promise of a more lenient sentence, many defendants agree to this option.

If you are facing criminal allegations, it can be difficult to know how to plead. An experienced Knoxville criminal defense attorney will know what pleas are available to you to afford you the best possible outcome in your case.

What You Should Know About Pleading Guilty

Understanding the legal system is important in deciding if you should plead guilty to a crime. Here are some things you should be aware of in making your decision:

You Waive Your Right to Trial 

In criminal trials, a prosecutor must establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The trier of fact, a judge or jury, must reach the conclusion that there is no other reasonable explanation for the evidence presented except that you committed the crime.

Our legal system is based on the presumption that you are innocent until proven guilty. If your case is tried in front of a jury, the prosecution will need to convince all twelve jurors that you are guilty. If there is weak incriminating evidence in your case, a Knox County criminal defense attorney may suggest proceeding to trial.

By forgoing trial, you are losing the opportunity to defend yourself at trial. Unless there is no question about your guilt, you may be losing the chance of being acquitted.

You Avoid the Time and Expense of Trial

The cost of going to trial can be astronomical. From paying court filing fees, attorney fees, restitution (compensating a victim), and witness fees, you may feel your head spinning. Never mind the expenses; a trial can last for several months and require you to spend all day in court.

Your Case Will Be Resolved More Quickly

When you take a plea offer, the prosecutor generally offers to reduce your charges, drop charges (if you are being charged on multiple counts), or suggest a more lenient sentence to the judge. When you take a plea bargain, you move directly to the sentencing phase.

Bear in mind that in entering a plea bargain, you generally withdraw your right to appeal. In order to resolve your case quickly, most defendants agree to serve minimal time in prison.

You Will Receive a More Lenient Sentence

As previously mentioned, a prosecutor is more likely to recommend a lighter sentence in a plea bargain. Most defendants agree to the terms of a plea offer since they are likely to serve less time than if they were found guilty at trial.

Speak with our Knoxville, TN Criminal Defense Attorney Today

When you agree to a plea bargain, you are pleading guilty to a crime. While many people may think that pleading guilty is a bad idea, it may be the best option, given your situation.

If you have been charged with a crime, our Knox County, TN, criminal defense attorney is here to answer any questions you may have. Contact Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney today online or by calling 865-281-1000 to schedule your free consultation.

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