There is nothing more frightening than leaving your freedom on the line. When you’ve been accused of a crime, the quickest answers can sometimes seem like the best option. You may have heard that it’s best just to plea down and take probation or to just admit guilt and get it all over with. We’re here to tell you that there are out-of-court settlement disadvantages and that you have other options.
If you’ve been wrongfully accused of a crime or hurt by someone else’s mistake, you need a skilled defense attorney who isn’t afraid to fight when your case goes to trial. Whether you came here searching for a Houston DWI lawyer, Houston criminal defense lawyer, Houston personal injury lawyer, or simply a trial attorney you can trust, Thiessen law firm can help.
You deserve better than quick answers and compromises. Before you make a life-changing decision, learn what could be at stake and how an experienced trial attorney could be the answer to your most pressing concerns.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of an out of court settlement?
Almost everyone who has the option to go to trial asks themselves, “Is it better to settle out of court?” That’s because while going to court can result in a full exoneration or a larger monetary settlement, it can also increase your risk of an unfavorable outcome.
Before you make a decision to fight, plea, or agree, it’s important to make a fair assessment of out-of-court settlement disadvantages and advantages.
Out-of-court settlement advantages
- Lighter sentences: In some cases, settling for a lesser conviction with a less harsh penalty can be the best outcome option available. This idea is especially true of cases where the evidence is particularly damning or in cases where multiple criminal charges can be resolved in one guilty plea. In these cases, you may be trading prison time for fines or probation, or shaving a significant amount of jail time off a harsh sentence.
- Faster money: If you’re fighting for damages in a personal injury, it can be easier to get the money you need right away if by settling out of court. However, keep in mind that one of the most frequently cited out-of-court settlement disadvantages is that it’s unlikely that you will receive anywhere near the full amount of compensation you and your lawyer initially requested.
- Less stress: As experienced trial lawyers, we’ll be the first to tell you that taking a case to court is intense. It’s hard to watch state witnesses and insurance adjusters take the stand and twist the facts of your case against you. While a strong trial lawyer is prepared to fight back against dishonest witnesses, the process can be grueling and more than some people are ready to handle.
Out-of-court settlement disadvantages
- Convictions you don’t deserve: It’s not uncommon for prosecutors to offer you a lighter punishment in exchange for a guilty plea on either your original charge or a lesser charge (i.e., reckless driving instead of DWI). While this compromise does allow you to get this nightmare over with, you’re still stuck with the penalties, fines, and the life-long damage of a criminal record.
- Less money than you need: When you’ve been hurt by someone else’s negligence, their lawyers will typically try to keep a lid on things by offering you some money in exchange for dropping your case. Usually, this amount is less than you deserve and less than you might need to fully recover from your damages.
- You can’t turn back: Once you agree to plead guilty or take less than you deserve, you can’t file an appeal or re-sue if you ever decide you’re not happy with the results.
How a trial lawyer can help you win your case in the courtroom
It’s a fact: Not all lawyers are created equal. We receive countless calls from people who are upset and saying, “My lawyer is not fighting for me!” That’s because while almost every lawyer advertises positive outcomes for their clients, few are actually willing to fight to the end when challenges present themselves.
What makes a lawyer a trial attorney?
Taking a case to trial requires more than just deep legal knowledge. You need a lawyer with the spirit, connections, and experience that you’ll need if your case goes to trial. These are just a few of the factors to ask about while you make your decision.
- Board certification: Lawyers who have been certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization are recognized as uniquely skilled and knowledgeable in their field of practice. When you hire a board-certified attorney (like Mark Thiessen), you’re getting top tier representation capable of fighting a case in court.
- Expert witnesses: Even the best lawyers don’t win cases alone. Challenging criminal charges or high-value personal injury cases requires the input of subject matter experts who can take the stand to ensure the jury is told the facts. Trial-ready lawyers know who to call and how to find expert witnesses that can help the truth come to light in your case.
- Well-rounded knowledge: Any lawyer worth the weight of their license knows the law. In cases like DWI or intoxication manslaughter in Texas, what really makes a difference is understanding the science and other factors affecting your charges. It’s important to make sure your lawyer understands the specific scenario you’re facing and is prepared to provide a thorough defense.
Thiessen Law Firm attorneys are trial-tested and trial-ready!
Whether or not you eventually decide to plea or settle, hiring a trial-ready lawyer saves you from the prospect of facing out-of-court settlement disadvantages.
If you’re looking for a lawyer who won’t back down should your case go to trial, the Thiessen Law Firm is the place for you. Home to board-certified criminal defense attorney Mark Thiessen, Thiessen Law Firm has taken challenging cases involving complex charges like intoxication manslaughter to trial and won.
When your quality of life is on the line, never settle for less. Contact the dedicated trial attorneys at Thiessen Law Firm today at 713-864-9000 or online to schedule a free consultation today.
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