You’ll likely be itching to know your fate after being charged with a criminal offense. Unfortunately, you cannot foretell the outcome of your criminal case with certainty. Various factors can influence the outcome of a case and by understanding them, you can make informed decisions as you prepare for trial.
Most people consult the best criminal lawyer in Toronto for the evaluation of their cases and legal counsel. A competent criminal lawyer will recommend the available legal solution after evaluating the circumstances of your charges. Also, most lawyers offer free initial legal consultations and work on a “pay after work basis”.
Influencing Factors for Criminal Cases
The standard advice is to hire a reliable legal team when faced with any legal situation. In criminal cases, you’ll be dealing with a prosecutor who represents the government. Prosecutors initiate the criminal justice process to bring an accused person to book. It’s important to understand that prosecutors are typically widely experienced and it can be hard to defeat their claims.
An experienced, reputable, and competent criminal defense lawyer would be your only hope to investigate your charges and develop a strong defense. A criminal defense attorney can only guide you on the possible outcomes but the ruling is to be made by a court of law. Also, the rulings of other similar cases can give you an idea of what to expect. The factors that could influence the outcome of a criminal case include:
1. The Specifics of a Case
The facts of the criminal offense and the evidence in the hands of the play a significant role in determining the outcome of your case. A prosecutor will typically complicate the situation if they have compelling evidence for the alleged crime–eliminating any hope of a plea bargain. Plausible or admissible evidence can include:
- Verifiable photographs, videos, and voice recordings; or
- A guilty plea of the accused person.
Your defense will also play a critical role in influencing the course of justice and the outcome. For instance, if the presented evidence was unlawfully obtained by the police, an attempt for acquittal can be suppressed if you don’t have a reliable defense. You might also be having other defenses that can help negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution–your lawyer should advise you on this.
2. The Defendant’s Criminal History
Your criminal history will undoubtedly impact the outcome of the case. A crime-free history can endear you to the prosecutor and they might consider other better ways to resolve the issue, including:
- Reducing the charges;
- Dismissing the charges under certain conditions like enrolling in a rehabilitation program;
- Recommending a lighter sentence to the judge/ jury.
On the other hand, the legal fraternity, including prosecutors, frown upon habitual criminals and can be tough on them.
3. The Prosecutor
Prosecutors approach their work differently. Some prefer resolving cases without going to trial (through plea bargaining). Other prosecutors prefer a hard approach and they’re typically rigid– negotiating a plea agreement is not easy in this case.
The psychology of the prosecutor will also impact your case. For instance, a female prosecutor handling an alleged rape crime might be harsh on the accused person–violating their rights in the process. Also, the prosecutor might be moody on the material day, which could negatively impact your case.
4. The Judge or Jury
The judge’s decision will be final in the meantime although you can appeal the ruling of your case. Like prosecutors, judges execute their work differently thanks to different temperaments and exposures. For instance, a judge may have a particular way of approaching and handling criminal offenses if an accused person pleads guilty or shows remorse. A plea agreement must be approved by a judge–meaning that your fate is largely dependent on the judge. Even if the prosecutor makes a plea agreement offer, the judge might not approve.
5. Your Legal Team
An important thing within the control of defendants is their choice of the legal team. Research shows that the choice of an attorney significantly impacts the outcome of a case. Consequently, hiring a reliable legal team can influence favorable results even though it doesn’t guarantee success.
Reliable criminal lawyers conduct thorough independent investigations, hire relevant experts, and gather the necessary evidence to build a strong defense. A good lawyer can help get your charges reduced to a lesser offense or dismissed. Remember a less serious offense translates into a lighter sentence. Also, your case might have a high chance of succeeding if the lawyer has a good working relationship with the judge and the jury. A judge will be more open and receptive to the ideas of a familiar lawyer than a stranger.
The outcome of your criminal charges is influenced by many factors, including the ones discussed in this article. However, having a reliable legal team is arguably the most important factor.