It may be tempting after an arrest to enter a guilty plea in hopes of a lighter sentence and a quick resolution to your ordeal. You want to move on with your life, maybe avoid paying some legal fees, and think that entering a plea is the answer to your current legal problems.
However, a guilty plea may lead to more problems than the ones you are facing now. Make no mistake, pleading guilty will result in a criminal conviction, and a conviction can have a profound and lasting effect on your future. While you may be able to leave the courthouse after a guilty plea, you may not be able to leave behind the impact of your choice.
Consequences of Accepting a Guilty Plea
If you plead guilty to an offense, this means that you might have a criminal record and may have to serve a jail sentence. Having a criminal record can substantially interfere with your freedom and future in several significant ways. A criminal conviction can stay on your record for the rest of your life, preventing you from getting a job, getting into college, or buying a house. It may have serious implications for your immigration status as well.
In some misdemeanor courts, you could be offered the opportunity to “waive your rights” and speak directly to the district attorney. The DA offers may offer you a time served offer with a fine only, which may sound good but will leave you with a criminal conviction for life.
Because pleading guilty has several profound effects on a person’s life, representing yourself or negotiating with the DA on your own could be a huge mistake. It is critical to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can provide you strategic advice concerning how to achieve the best possible resolution to your matter before entering a guilty plea.
There May Be a Better Way Out. A Defense Lawyer Can Help.
Things may look bleak to you, and your belief that you have little or no chance of mounting a successful defense may be one of the factors leading you to consider pleading guilty. However, a skilled Texas criminal defense lawyer may see things differently and can use their skill and experience to develop a defense strategy that may result in a more favorable result than simply entering a guilty plea at the outset of your case. By providing a vigorous defense and pointing out weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, it may be possible get the charges reduced or dismissed, helping you avoid a criminal record and potential jail time or other penalties altogether.
Mark Diaz – Experienced Houston/Galveston Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you have been charged with a crime, you need an experienced lawyer who focuses exclusively on defending criminal cases and who will aggressively protect your rights. Throughout my career, I have successfully handled every type of criminal defense case. More importantly, criminal defense is the only thing I do. I have witnessed firsthand how a criminal charge can negatively impact every area of a person’s life. As a lawyer, I consider it a privilege to help people during this stressful time in their lives. Call me today at (409) 515-6170 for a free consultation to discuss your case.