When it comes to the Criminal Defense and the criminal justice system, there are several different outcomes that your case may result in. There are several different types of Guilty Pleas that you may enter in response to charges that the Commonwealth brings against you as part of your Criminal Defense. Solicitation Three outcomes are known as a negotiated guilty plea, an open plea, and a jury trial.  Once your case had reached the Court of Common Pleas level, your defense attorney can either choose to have your case go to trial or you can plead guilty. If you plead guilty, you are admitting that you committed the crimes that you have been accused of. One of these pleas is known as a negotiated plea. A negotiated plea is also known as a plea deal or a plea bargain. In order for you to have a negotiated plea, you and your attorney have reached an agreement with the prosecutor. It is very unlikely for a judge to reject the plea deal that your defense attorney and the prosecution agree on, but the judge does have a right to do so. A negotiated plea can be positive because you will serve a less severe sentence than you may have if a jury trial were to find you guilty. In addition, when it comes to a negotiated plea, you do not have to face the uncertainty of your sentence not being decided until trial.

Another type of guilty plea is an open plea. An open plea is when your defense attorney and the prosecutor come to an agreement on what charges you will plead to and the judge will decide what your sentence will be. This is different from the negotiated plea, where the defense and the prosecution reaches an agreement on the sentence you will serve.  Domestic Violence If you case does not reach a negotiated plea or an open plea and you plead not guilty, your case will go to trial.

If you plead not guilty, your case will go to trial. You are entitled to a jury trial that is made up of 12 of your peers. Jury selection takes place before the trial and can even take days. During trial, the prosecution and the defense will present their sides of the argument. The trial begins with opening statements. Both the defense and the prosecution will call witnesses and will have the opportunity to cross examine each other’s witnesses. The judge will instruct the jury but the decision of whether you are found guilty or not guilty is entirely up to the jury. If you are found guilty, the judge will impose your punishment at sentencing. If you are found not guilty, you are able to walk free.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney will be able to assess the facts of your case and fight to get your case the best possible outcome.