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Records from the Texas Office of Court Administration report that less than 2% of felony criminal cases actually go to trial. On average, less than 1% of misdemeanor cases go to trial. Around 13% of felony charges are eventually dismissed and around 33% of misdemeanors are dismissed. These statistics serve to highlight your ability to avoid the risk of trial while still obtaining a favorable result. At Billy Skinner & Associates, we know that many of our clients have concerns about placing their fate in the hands of the judicial system and trials and we work tirelessly to help them understand how criminal cases can be resolved.
As every charge is unique and every client different, our firm works to address all of the personal facts and circumstances involved in your case. We know that strategies must change based on the case and client, which is why we customize each defense. Whether your charges can be dropped, your case dismissed, or a plea bargain negotiated on your behalf will depend entirely on the nature of your case and your available legal options.
Plea bargaining may allow you to plead to less serious charges and face reduced penalties. Our firm can provide you with counsel and advice about your legal options and their possible impact, but the decision to accept a plea bargain or go to trial is yours. At times, your best chances for obtaining the most favorable results may rest on accepting reduced charges and / or penalties. At others, unfair plea offers and the desire to seek a complete acquittal may mean that trial is the best option.
If you wish to take your case to trial, we can request either a bench trial, where the judge decides your case, or a jury trial, where a jury makes the final decision regarding your innocence. According to Texas court statistics, bench trials are more likely to end in acquittals. Once your trial begins, the district attorney and your defense attorney will have opportunities to make opening statements, call witnesses, cross-examine witnesses, present physical evidence, and make closing arguments. You may choose to testify or to remain silent. If you choose to remain silent, the judge or jury cannot hold your silence against you. Prosecutors have the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If jurors agree that there is reasonable doubt as to whether you are guilty, they must vote to acquit you.
At the end of the day, the choice to go to trial is yours. In the hands of an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney, your right to trial can be a powerful tool, but it may not always be the best option. Should you choose to work with Billy Skinner & Associates, you can be confident that Billy Skinner will thoroughly vet all of your personal legal options, present these options and their potential effects to you, and ultimately afford you the opportunity and right to make your own decision. Our firm is here to guide you through the legal process and to fight on your behalf at any stage in and outside of the courtroom. Contact Billy Skinner & Associates to learn more!