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Guilty Pleas: are they ever a good idea?

Pleading guilty is a challenging endeavor, it feels like you are admitting that you did a wrong. But sometimes pleading guilty is a good choice. Most of the time the prosecutor will drop some charges, mitigate the sentence, or even allow you to enter a diversion program (to avoid criminal penalties). This post will go over the warning signs on when you should consider a guilty plea.

A guilty plea means that you will not contest the charges and alleged actions (it does not necessarily mean that you admit to doing it, it isn?t a confession). Guilty pleas are useful tools in the prosecutor?s belt. Most (if not all) prosecutors will agree to drop some charges or reduce the criminal sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. But, these deals usually have a time limit on them. The earlier you accept the deal, the more of your sentence is reduced ? the closer you get to trial, the less sweet the deal becomes (unless you uncover a ?smoking gun? that absolves you).

Thus, pleading guilty is both a matter if (1) if you should and (2) when you should. It is crucial that you play your cards right or risk endangering your livelihood. A lawyer can ensure that you strategize properly and maximize your chance of avoiding severe criminal sanctions.

Were you charged with a crime? If yes, you should contact a defense attorney at your earliest convenience. Pleading guilty can even prevent further damage to your reputation by mitigating some of the worst charges or even allowing you into a diversion program. A lawyer can review the evidence that is arrayed against you, so you aren?t bullied into a guilty plea.

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The Naperville, Illinois, law firm of Jim Ryan & Associates is available to serve people throughout the Chicago metropolitan area with a focus in DuPage County, the western suburbs and Naperville, in communities such Downers Grove, Wheaton, Carol Stream, Bloomingdale, Addison, Itasca, Warrenville, Woodridge, Oswego, Yorkville, Roselle, Aurora and Elmhurst. We also represent students and parents of students who attend any of the area schools and universities, including Naperville North High School, Naperville Central High School, Neuqua Valley High School, Waubonsie Valley and North Central College.

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