Minor legal problems can become a major distraction if they are not handled properly. If you have been arrested for a minor offense or issued a ticket for a misdemeanor violation, you might be tempted to plead guilty and suffer the consequences.
Sometimes pleading guilty can be a beneficial option, but you should always consult with an experienced attorney before entering a plea- no matter how minor the charges might seem. They can help in the following ways.
Understand the Consequences of a Guilty Plea
The most important reason to consult with an attorney before you enter a guilty plea in court is to gain an understanding of how the plea will affect your life.
A prosecutor will emphasize that a guilty plea might prevent you from spending time in jail or result in the assessment of a minimal fine. While these benefits may be accurate, there could be unforeseen consequences associated with a guilty plea.
Your attorney will be able to help you determine if a guilty plea and subsequent conviction on your record might put your driving privileges, professional licenses, or employment at risk. Weigh the potential consequences against the benefits of a guilty plea with your attorney before making any final decisions.
Understand the Strength of the Prosecutor's Case
Another important reason to work with an attorney before you decide to plead guilty is to ensure that you fully understand the strength of the prosecutor's case. An attorney has the knowledge and experience required to evaluate the evidence that a prosecutor will present to the court if your case goes to trial.
You might feel like owning up to any mistakes you have made and cooperating fully with a guilty plea, but if the prosecutor doesn't have a strong case, then your attorney may be able to get your charges dismissed.
Reduce Your Sentence
There are some situations where pleading guilty might be your best option. An attorney can help you evaluate the possibility of winning a case at trial and determine the potential consequences you may suffer if you lose. Pleading guilty can be an effective tool that your attorney can use to negotiate a reduced sentence with the prosecutor on your behalf.
Plea bargains can be negotiated to help protect your interests and save taxpayer dollars by preventing a trial. If you were to enter a guilty plea on your own, you might not enjoy the same benefits an attorney-negotiated plea bargain will provide.
For more information, contact local law firm services.