When you are facing criminal charges, you may be told to plead guilty. Maybe you are promised that it will make things easier on you or that you will receive a lesser sentence for cooperating. However, you need to know that the decision to plead guilty to a crime is a big one. You should only seriously consider doing so if you have talked to a Monmouth County criminal defense attorney.
Can I Be Forced to Plead Guilty?
You cannot be made to plead guilty to a crime. No matter how much pressure you face from the police or the prosecution, you have the right to stay silent. You do not need to tell anyone anything about the events in question. What you should do is contact a lawyer. They should be the only person you talk to, and then they can communicate on your behalf.
When Should I Talk to a Lawyer?
Asking for a lawyer should be one of the first things that you do when you are arrested for a crime. A defense attorney can protect you during the interrogation. Then, when it is time to make your plea, you can plead not guilty with confidence because you know that you have someone on your side who is ready to help you poke holes in the prosecution’s case against you.
Would a Lawyer Tell Me to Plead Guilty?
There are some instances where a lawyer might tell you to plead guilty to a crime. In some cases, there is a lot of evidence against a defendant, but their lawyer is able to work out a deal with the prosecution anyway. This is called a “plea bargain.” Instead of going to trial and facing a high chance of being found guilty, a defendant can plead guilty after their lawyer has negotiated on their behalf.
Most of the time, this means that you plead guilty to a lesser charge with less of a punishment. A common example is when a DWI gets downgraded to reckless driving. Depending on the evidence against you and the types of punishments on the table, taking a deal and pleading guilty in such a situation might be advisable.
Are There Pros and Cons When I Choose to Plead Guilty?
When you plead guilty, there are going to be benefits and drawbacks. Some pros could include:
- Reduced sentencing
- Less time and money spent on a defense
Trials can go on for a long time and they can cost a lot of money. Ending one with a guilty plea can save you a lot of resources. There are also the bad parts of pleading guilty, including:
- The presence of a crime on a permanent record
- A threat to your legal status if you are an immigrant
- Risk of professional ramifications/threats to your professional license
Contact Our Law Firm and Schedule a Consultation
You need to protect your rights and fight these criminal charges, so hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is ready to advocate for you. Contact the Law Offices of George J. Mardinly and schedule a consultation with our team. We can tell you more about how we can help you fight for the best possible outcome in your case.