Should You Plead Or Go To Trial On Criminal Charges In Federal Court?

If you have been accused of a crime in federal court you're likely wondering what you should do.

You've heard that almost every federal case results in a plea. Yet you may want to fight it, because the government is wrong about what you did.

What's worse, you need a lawyer to figure out what to do, and finding the right lawyer to help you is difficult. Different lawyers give you different advice about what you should do and how you should approach your case.

In this short video, federal criminal defense attorney Matt Kaiser explains how he looks at whether you should plead guilty or go to trial. He explains how he approaches each case, and the important decisions that have to be made - and the best way to make those decisions.

Video Transcript:

Sometimes people call me and they have been accused of a federal crime and they ask “Should I take a plea or should I go to trial.”

I often don’t know.

The reason I don’t know is because I just don’t know enough about a person’s case. It's stunning to me that people have reported that they will call one lawyer who will say “oh, if you are accused of federal crime you should absolutely go to trial, here is a rate that I will charge for that.”

Then they will call another lawyer and the lawyer will say “Well look if the prosecutor has charged you with the crime that means the prosecutor probably thinks you are guilty, what you need to do is you need to take a plea and you need to try to work with the Government to catch other people to get time off of your sentence.”

But in any case it maybe that a plea makes sense or it may be that a trial makes sense. But there is no way to know that until a lawyer sits down and carefully studies the law, carefully studies the evidence that the government has, carefully studies the facts and the defense that you have and investigates that before they can make a decision about whether you should go to trial or whether you should take a plea. You deserve nothing less than a full investigation and a full searching enquiry as to whether the Government can get a conviction.

What you deserve if you have been accused for crime is a lawyer who will do the hard work of sitting down and looking at the facts of your case. Sitting down and looking at the law of your case, and sitting down and looking at your defense and investigating it. Before telling you, you should go to trial or you should take a plea.