Should I Plead Guilty If I Am Guilty?
The first thing I tell my clients, including those who readily admit their guilt and are ashamed and just want to get the case over, is this: breathe, try to relax, and slow down.
If you are in fact guilty, that does not necessarily mean that your case has to end with a guilty plea. There are legal technicalities that can cause your case to be dismissed even if you are guilty. For example, if the evidence needed to prove your guilt was obtained illegally, that can result in the dismissal of your case.
Sometimes the police officer who investigated your case or arrested you may have been arrested himself or may have been caught lying in another case. The District Attorney’s Office may have to dismiss your case because they no longer can rely on that officer’s testimony.
If your case depends on forensic evidence, sometimes lab technicians make mistakes. Sometimes lab technicians get caught making up test results. These kinds of issues are other ways that a case can get dismissed even if you’re factually guilty.
If this is the first time you’ve been arrested, chances are that you’ll never commit another crime again because you’re so embarrassed and ashamed of being arrested. So why rush to saddle yourself with a criminal conviction when all it’s going to do is hurt your future? At least let me look at the case first and see if there’s anything I can do to avoid that.
Even if it turns out that there’s nothing that I can do to get your case dismissed, and I believe that it’s not in your best interest to take your case to trial, then I can at least work on getting a deal that will minimize the impact of your case on your life going forward.
It could be a pretrial diversion where you can eventually have your case expunged off your record. It could be a deferred adjudication where you can eventually have your case sealed. Even if you’re charged with a terrible violent crime and the evidence is overwhelming, I can at least build a mitigation case to minimize whatever sentence you could receive.
So even if you are guilty, the worst thing you can do is to rush and find a lawyer to let you plead guilty quickly. There is always the possibility of a dismissal or a resolution that will minimize the impact your case will have on your record and your life.
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