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Should I Just Plead Guilty to Avoid Going to Trial?

Alvine Weidenaar, Criminal

Having to go to trial can cause anyone anxiety. After all, there’s a lot of uncertainty about what will happen. The unknown about the outcome is often too much for some people to handle. 

Deciding to plead guilty will speed up the process of your case; however, this isn’t always the best decision. Also, if you rush through and just decide to avoid trial, you may experience some downfalls. Before moving forward with a decision to avoid going to trial, speak with a reputable defense attorney who can provide more information and insight about your situation. 

It’s also a good idea to consider the factors here. 

You Will Lose Your Right to a Trial

If you decide to plead guilty to the charge against you, you waive your rights to go to trial. You need to consider if the charges you are facing can be proven. You can speak to your criminal defense attorney about this to determine their view on what you should do. If the charges cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then going to trial may be a smart move. If you decide to do this, be sure you have an experienced trial attorney representing you. They are the ones that will present your side of the situation and “poke holes” in the prosecution’s evidence. 

You Will Have a Criminal Record

When you plead guilty, you will freely, voluntarily, and knowingly agree to have a criminal record. You will face consequences in many parts of your life when you have a criminal record. In some cases, you may have to serve time in jail, pay restitution and fines, and comply with any other terms and conditions of your plea. You must also deal with the other consequences that may occur, which can impact your children’s custody, immigration status, and employment. 

Eliminate the Possibility of an Appeal

The court system wants to protect itself against a defendant who enters a plea deal voluntarily and then later decides to go to trial. When you decide to enter a plea, you no longer have the option for a trial or appeal. Unless there was some type of error or mistake, it’s impossible to retract your decision to enter a plea. Because of this, you must carefully consider whether this is the right option for your situation. 

May Result in Subpar Investigations 

If you enter a plea too early in the process, it may cause issues with the investigation. This can negatively impact your case and situation. Discuss your options with your attorney to fully understand the impact of entering a plea. 

Is Entering a Plea Right for You?

Each person must consider the charges they are facing and their situation to decide if entering a plea is the right option. Be sure to discuss this with your criminal defense attorney, too, which will help you make the right decision for your situation. 

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