What Happens When No Plea Agreement Is Made In Criminal Cases?

Aug 12, 2018

In the legal landscape, criminal cases can come with complex and challenging consequences. When a defendant is facing criminal charges, one potential outcome is reaching a plea agreement with the prosecution. But what happens when no plea agreement is made?

The Importance of Plea Agreements

Plea agreements are often sought after in criminal cases as they offer a potential resolution without the need for a trial. In such agreements, the defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest to certain charges in exchange for a specified sentence or a reduced charge. Plea agreements are common in criminal cases, as they can save time, money, and can provide more control over the outcome.

However, there are instances where no plea agreement can be reached. When this happens, the case will proceed to trial, and the defendant must be prepared for the possible outcomes.

Proceeding to Trial

When a case goes to trial, the prosecution must present evidence and arguments to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense, on the other hand, must challenge the prosecution's evidence and build a strong defense strategy.

During a trial, witnesses may be called to testify, evidence may be presented, and expert opinions may be sought. Both sides will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and present their case to the judge or jury.

Possible Trial Outcomes

When a defendant and their attorney decide to proceed to trial without a plea agreement, they face potential outcomes that can significantly impact their future. Let's explore some of these possibilities:

1. Acquittal:

If the prosecution fails to meet the burden of proof or if the defense presents a strong case, the defendant may be acquitted. This means the defendant is found not guilty and is cleared of the charges.

2. Conviction:

If the prosecution successfully proves the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant may be convicted. This can result in various penalties, including fines, probation, imprisonment, or a combination of these.

3. Hung Jury:

In some cases, the jury may be unable to reach a unanimous decision. This results in a hung jury, and the case may be declared a mistrial. In such situations, the prosecution can choose to retry the case, negotiate a new plea agreement, or dismiss the charges.

4. Retrial:

If the defendant is convicted and files an appeal or if the case ends in a mistrial, a retrial may be conducted. In a retrial, the case is presented anew, and both the prosecution and defense have the opportunity to present updated evidence and arguments.

5. Sentencing:

If the defendant is convicted, the court will proceed to sentencing. The judge will consider various factors, including the nature of the crime, the defendant's criminal history, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances. Depending on the severity of the charges, sentencing can range from fines and community service to lengthy imprisonment.

Seeking Legal Representation

Navigating a criminal case without a plea agreement requires skilled legal representation. John P. Bennett, Attorney at Law, is a trusted and experienced criminal defense attorney serving clients in Tahlequah and surrounding areas. With extensive knowledge in criminal law and a commitment to protecting the rights of his clients, Attorney Bennett can provide the representation you need to navigate the complexities of the legal process.

Whether you are facing charges for theft, assault, drug offenses, or other criminal charges, John P. Bennett, Attorney at Law, is dedicated to guiding you through each step of the process.

Contact John P. Bennett, Attorney at Law Today

If you are involved in a criminal case with no plea agreement, it is crucial to have a skilled attorney by your side. Contact John P. Bennett, Attorney at Law, today to schedule a consultation. With his expertise and dedication, Attorney Bennett will work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.