3 Reasons Why Criminal Cases Take Time

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If you have a pending criminal case, you have to live every day with the case weighing down on you, which can be pretty overwhelming. This is especially true when you believe you are wrongfully accused and are hoping to win based on the strength of your case. 

The courts strive to spend the least time on a case, which is why many cases end with plea deals. However, it must also ensure that every defendant goes through a fair proceeding, which can be time-consuming. Below are some reasons why your case could take longer than you wish.

Scheduling Pretrial Motions and Legal Procedures

Scheduling is among the very first steps in a criminal proceeding. It occurs days after a defendant takes a plea to discuss the scope of the case, set deadlines, and explore the possibilities of settling. 

High caseloads, a shortage of judges, and courtroom availability can cause huge delays and inconveniences that can sometimes cause a case to exceed the set deadlines. Also, legal procedures held before trial, such as evidence discovery, motion to suppress evidence, and pretrial motion, can stretch over the allocated times, delaying the case. 

Their part in criminal cases has a huge impact on the outcome of your case. As such, your legal representation quality is critical, so ensure you have the best Minnesota criminal defense attorney representing you. 

Evidence Gathering

Criminal cases apply the strictest standard of proof: the beyond-reasonable doubt standard. As such, the prosecution must make a case such that a reasonable person will not doubt the defendant’s guilt to get a conviction. For the most part, the prosecution relies on evidence to make their case. 

Evidence gathering can be lengthy, considering it comes from different sources, and the courts expect specific types of evidence from the parties involved. These types of evidence include real, documentary, digital, demonstrative, and testimonial evidence, among others. 

Negotiations and Plea Bargains

“Most cases, criminal or civil, allow for a negotiated resolution. This negotiated resolution is referred to as a plea bargain for criminal cases. In a plea bargain, the defendant agrees to plead guilty or not contest a charge for reduced charges of less severe punishment,” says Minnesota criminal defense lawyer Omeed Berenjian of BK Law Group.

For example, if a defendant is facing a felony domestic abuse charge, they could plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge, which would allow them to avoid going to trial and get significantly less severe punishment. 

This option saves time, reduces a backlog of court cases, and eliminates the uncertainties of going to trial. Like other aspects of a criminal case, the input of your criminal defense attorney is critical when making a deal. So, when picking a lawyer, go for one with a history of making favorable deals for their clients. Negotiating a plea deal is a skill. So you want to go with the person that’s best at it. 

Final Words

While the duration of a criminal case in Minnesota could be longer than you would like, it is for a good reason: ensuring everyone gets justice. Talking to a lawyer beforehand can help you prepare for what to expect regarding duration. 

Remember, legal representation is a constitutional right. Even when you cannot afford a lawyer, the state of Minnesota must provide one. However, a private lawyer is always the best option because they can allocate more time to your case and better your chances of a favorable outcome.

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