Allegations of violent crimes should not be taken lightly. Whether a person formally faces an assault charge, a weapons violation or a murder charge, the consequences can have a lasting impact on that person as well as close friends or family members. There are a number of different factors that must be taken into consideration before entering a plea during arraignment.
An 18-year-old from Tempe who allegedly shot and killed a man and injured a woman recently entered a plea of not guilty. He faces charges for first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon after reportedly returning to an apartment complex where he was asked to leave a party the night before and shooting the man and the woman. The suspect was not invited to the party, and authorities do not believe he knew the victims in the shooting. It is unknown what evidence Maricopa County prosecutors have that may link him to the violent crimes.
Criminal defense attorneys typically develop defense strategies as details of the prosecutions strategy unfold. Depending on the circumstances of the case, a defense attorney might present evidence that proves the accused was elsewhere at the time of the crime, disproves eyewitness testimony or calls into question the validity of ballistics tests. In cases where the evidence is undeniable, it might be a better strategy to accept a plea bargain from the prosecution to lessen the long-term consequences. Anyone who faces criminal charges would be well-advised to speak with an attorney before entering a plea.
Source: myfoxphoenix.com, “Tempe man pleads not guilty in fatal shooting,” Associated Press, Dec. 30, 2013