A plea machine or a Raleigh trial attorney. Which would you prefer?

Someone asked me a few weeks ago whether I was really intending to help him with his case, or whether I was just eager to get it over with.  This was after I had recommended the plea offer because, in his circumstances, it was about the best he was going to do.

I think he was a bit skeptical, having dealt with other attorneys who had pushed pleas on him, and recommended he “take a plea.”

But I had no trouble answering the question: I don’t care if the case is felony Robbery with a Deadly Weapon, a DUI, or Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Sell or Deliver.  I did not go to law school and become an attorney to plea stuff out.

I went to law school to get 12 fine citizens in a box, to ask them whether they could decide a case fairly, and to fight for my client’s rights.  Now, 95 percent of a lawyer’s cases do not end up at trial.  That’s because there are a lot of factors.  And I will always recommend a plea if I honestly think that it’s in my client’s best interest.

But my job is not to push pleas on clients.  My job is not to serve as a messenger from the district attorney for the latest plea offer.  And if it’s obviously a bad plea – if it’s a demand that the client plea to the charge – then I will advise the client to go to trial.

In the end, it’s always the client’s choice.  It’s always the client’s decision, because it’s the client’s life.  And where the facts aren’t so good, and the law isn’t so good, and the client would be harmed by rejecting a plea, I will tell the client that he should take the plea.

But if I think it’s a lousy plea, or if I think that the client would be better served by going to trial because I think the DA’s case is weak, I will say that too.

At the end of the day, you want a lawyer who is not afraid to recommend a good plea, and not afraid to go to trial to fight for your rights.  Call (919) 352-9411 to find out how I can be of service to you.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.