If I Plead Guilty, Do I Still Need An Attorney?

Litigation / Thursday, March 1st, 2018

OK, you got caught. You’re detained in jail, charged with drunk driving, or drug possession, or domestic violence. You are now reviewing your options, considering who you would contact for your one phone call.

You spend the night and think about it. The next morning you realize that it might be better and less expensive to be forthright and plead guilty to avoid the cost of an attorney or a defense when you can admit that you did it.

After all, if you really are guilty, why bother to go through the expense of hiring an attorney and going through a trial? Well, before you decide you make that decision for financial reasons, think about the fact that you still have rights even as a guilty party. Here are some reasons to consider retaining an attorney even with a guilty plea:

  • A legal analyst – Before you plead, a criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case to discuss your options and possible defenses. The attorney would know the laws in play for your case and would inquire about the evidence against you to see where there is an opportunity to perhaps get you the best deal possible.
  • A negotiator – OK, so you may be guilty. It doesn’t mean you have to accept the first offer by the prosecutor. After your attorney evaluates your case, he or she may be able to challenge some of the evidence to make the case against you weaker, thus strengthening your position to get a lesser sentence.
  • An advocate – You know, you don’t always have to go to jail or be on probation. An attorney can help you with alternative options, such as a diversion or rehab program if you are arrested for a DUI, for example. An attorney can discuss what is available outside of a prison cell.
  • An advisor – A defense attorney can give you advice about consequences of your guilty plea because the plea isn’t just about jail or your criminal record. There can often be collateral damage with a guilty plea, so the attorney can make sure you know the ramifications.
  • An executor – An attorney can file all the paperwork for your guilty plea and can ensure that the terms of the deal are enforced. Your attorney will be on your side even while you serve your sentence.

Before you plead guilty, make sure to contact a quality criminal defense attorney to guide you through the process of going through the plea process with all the information you need to be empowered in the justice system.