Should I just plead guilty?
If you are charged with a criminal offense, it is imperative that you consult with a lawyer. You need to discuss the facts of your case and the potential consequences you will face. A criminal conviction can have serious consequences related to your ability to secure employment, housing, financial aid, and your right to own a firearm.
Just because you committed the crime, does not mean that the State can prove it. Similarly, just because you admitted to committing a crime does not mean that statement is admissible in court.
The prosecutor has the burden of proof in a criminal case. That burden is known as “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a very high burden that can be difficult to satisfy. Every person has Miranda rights that police officers must tell a suspect prior to arresting and interviewing that suspect. During an arrest, you have other rights as well. If any of those rights are violated, your statements may not be allowed in as evidence against you. The evidence may be suppressed, or the charges against you may be dismissed regardless of whether you did or did not commit the crime.
What if you are guilty, the state can prove it, your rights were not violated, and you just want to plead guilty? You still want to have an attorney looking out for your best interest. Prosecutors have a job to do too. State's Attorneys are elected officials trained to seek convictions and tough sentences. An experienced criminal defense attorney will take the time to get to know you and the facts of your case. It is important to remember that when you appear in court, it is very likely that the only information that the judge and prosecutor will know about you is that you are charged with a crime.
You should not be judged based on one bad act. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to present mitigation to the prosecutor and/or judge to give them context about who you are outside of this one act. Additionally, a criminal defense attorney can negotiate directly with the prosecutor in order to get you the best possible outcome for your case. Don't take unnecessary risks with your freedom and liberty. Contact the Wheaton criminal defense attorneys at Lafata Law today for your free consultation.