Whether to plea guilty

Mark Rollins Criminal Law


Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was outspoken advocate the rule


strickland v. washington

Whether to Accept the plea deal?

This is the ultimate issue for most people entering the Criminal Justice System.   You see its been recorded that 90 percent of the people charged with a crime in America end up taking the plea deal.   If you accept the plea deal there were be no fancy trial where your lawyer gets to make a Perry Mason moment saying ” Mr. Smith could not have done the crime because Mr. Jones committed the crime.”So before you accept the plea deal, you must have 3 things answered by your attorney.  I am presuming you have an attorney because you would be foolish not to have one.   This basic principles came out of a Strickland v. Washington :: 466 U.S. 668 (1984).  That basic premise requires the defendant to establish that the counsel’s performance was deficient, and that the errors made were serious enough to deprive the defendant of a fair trial.  In determining whether his services were lacking the court will look to whether the defense lawyer, investigated, consulted and prepared the case.


Did your lawyer:  1)Investigate the case.  A lawyer does not have to have a private detective.  The lawyer can do some of the work himself.  Frankly, I like to do both.  You have to be willing to get your hands dirty and investigate the case.


You have to meet with your lawyer and have a good relationship with him.    Discuss the strengths and weakness of the case with your lawyer and ramifications of you loss.   Most time will deal the consultation.


This is not just the lawyer preparing the case by himself.  Yes most of it will be done by the lawyer.  Its also requires the client to go over his testimony and discuss strategies to take a client.