Should I Still Hire an Attorney If I Think I’m Guilty?
Feb. 7, 2023
If you are facing criminal charges, one option available to you is to plead guilty. However, it is important to understand that pleading guilty can have serious, irreversible consequences. If you're facing criminal charges, know that it’s in your best interest to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you weigh your options carefully before entering into any plea agreements.
Contact the Law Office of Layne C. Savage if you are being investigated for a crime or facing criminal charges in Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; or the surrounding areas. Criminal defense attorney Layne C. Savage is dedicated to protecting the rights of her clients and helping them obtain the best possible outcomes, regardless of the charges they face.
Possible Consequences of a Guilty Plea
It is important to understand the possible penalties of a guilty plea so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your legal case. The following covers some common consequences:
Loss of rights. By pleading guilty, you are essentially forfeiting certain rights associated with the criminal trial process. These rights include your right to a jury trial.
Criminal penalties. When pleading guilty, the court will likely impose criminal penalties such as fines, restitution payments, or jail time in order to punish you for your crime.
Conviction record. A conviction record resulting from a guilty plea will stay on your record permanently and could affect future job prospects or other opportunities that require background checks or criminal records checks.
Loss of gun rights. Some crimes involving firearms can lead to loss of gun rights upon conviction if you plead guilty without going through trial proceedings first (particularly those involving felonies).
Loss of voting rights. Depending on where you live and what type of crime was committed (felony offenses), pleading guilty could result in temporary suspension or even permanent loss of voting rights within certain jurisdictions across America.
Damage to professional reputation. The impact of this depends on what profession one works in but generally speaking, any type of criminal record due to pleading guilty can damage one’s professional reputation when applying for jobs and trying to gain access to different industries/markets.
Immigration consequences. For non-citizens who plead guilty, there might also be immigration consequences involved in your penalty, depending on what type of crime was committed. This could potentially lead to deportation proceedings.
Pleading guilty should not be taken lightly. There are many potential consequences associated with such an action that should be considered before making any decisions regarding how best to handle one’s legal case moving forward.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney Even if You Think You are Guilty
There are many reasons why it is crucial to hire an attorney when facing criminal charges. The following discusses some key reasons why you should consult a criminal defense attorney, even when you believe you’re guilty of the charges brought against you.
They will advise you on your plea options.
A skilled defense attorney will assess your case and advise you on whether to plead guilty or not guilty. Depending on the severity of the crime and other factors, your attorney may suggest pleading guilty to secure a more lenient sentence than if you were to go to trial and lose.
They can gather evidence to prove your innocence.
If you intend to plead not guilty, your attorney will collect evidence from witnesses and review all relevant documents associated with your case, such as police reports, photographs, emails, etc., in order to build a strong defense strategy for trial. The goal is to prove your innocence so that all charges against you are dismissed.
They can negotiate a favorable plea deal.
Even if there is little doubt that you committed the crime in question, an experienced defense lawyer can still negotiate with prosecutors for a plea deal on more favorable terms than what would normally be available.
They can explore alternatives to imprisonment.
If jail time seems likely due to the severity of the crime charged, then exploring alternatives such as house arrest or drug rehabilitation programs might be wise choices depending upon individual circumstances.
It’s important for individuals facing criminal charges to understand their options so they can make informed decisions about their future—and having an experienced lawyer by their side makes this possible even when facing extreme odds of conviction during trial proceedings.
Protect Your Rights Today
Even if you feel that you may be guilty, hiring an attorney is still the best course of action. An experienced attorney can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the criminal justice system and assist you in understanding your options.
Contact the Law Office of Layne C. Savage in Providence, Rhode Island, to discuss the facts of your case and start working on your defense strategy today. In fact, a consultation will cost you nothing, so you have nothing to lose.