Will my case go to trial?
That is mostly up to you. Every person accused of a crime has an absolute right to a trial by jury. However, most criminal cases are resolved by agreement between the prosecution and the defense. Historically, this type of agreement is reached during the “pretrial negotiation” phase of the case.
In more recent times it is common for the prosecution to behave as though the written allegations of law enforcement are completely accurate. They do not tend to invest any additional time or effort learning the facts of the case. As a result, the defense may find that the state’s “best offer” is inappropriately harsh, especially in cases where the written accusations are totally false, partially false, or missing important details.
When the defendant is in position to schedule the case for trial instead of accepting an unfair offer, the prosecution is compelled to look beyond the written allegations. When an imminent trial date forces the prosecutor to consider all the facts, witness statements, and the defensive legal theories, their confidence in the written allegations is often shaken. If this happens the state will usually make a new settlement offer that is significantly better than the previous “best offer.” Bad and borderline cases are more likely to be dismissed unconditionally when they are set for trial.
Most cases that actually go to trial will be decided by a jury. If both sides waive the right to a jury then the case can be decided by a judge.
Unlike most criminal defense attorneys in Austin, I charge a comprehensive flat fee for handling a case from the point that charges are filed until disposition of the case. This means my clients do not have to pay any additional fee if their case goes to trial.