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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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Guilty Pleas: are they ever a good idea? | Jim Ryan & Associates