Should I Still Hire an Attorney If I Think I’m Guilty?
Dec. 19, 2022
Facing a criminal charge can be a freighting and overwhelming experience. Additionally, for those that know the reality of guilt, engaging the judicial system can be even more traumatic. If there is good news, it’s knowing that there are options available—even for the guilty. Just because someone thinks they are guilty of committing a crime, it doesn’t mean they should forgo constitutional rights and settle for whatever plea deal may be offered. As with any critical decision, it is important to explore every option and rely on trusted professionals for guidance.
At Walker Law Office, you’ll receive compassionate counsel and strategic representation from a criminal defense attorney regarding your case. Regardless of the circumstances, you deserve to have your rights protected. Contact Mekisha Jane Walker to set up a consultation.
Possible Consequences of a Guilty Plea
According to a recent article by The Innocence Network, a staggering 95% of all felony convictions in the United States are obtained through a guilty plea. Also noteworthy, they discovered that nearly 20% of individuals who were later exonerated for their crimes, initially accepted guilt.
Although every charge and criminal case presents unique circumstances, one common motivator exists for those that accept guilt without fully engaging in the criminal justice process: fear. The fear of going to trial and receiving a harsher penalty than the one initially presented is often the biggest reason why individuals accused of crimes plead guilty without ever fully exploring their options. This is a mistake that can be life-changing and potentially avoided.
For those that may be on the fence, here are ten possible consequences that may be imposed at a higher level if someone quickly enters a guilty plea:
Length of jail or prison term
Steep fines or restitution
Suspension or loss of driving privileges
Probation or house arrest
Termination of employment
Loss of professional license or certification
Inability to carry a firearm
Loss or changes in child custody
Social and emotional damage to self and others
Even though a person charged with a crime may not have their charges completely dismissed, it is always the best choice to fully investigate the circumstances of the crime and explore all available options. This is only possible by partnering with a trusted and experienced criminal defense attorney.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney Even If You Think You Are Guilty
It comes as no surprise that one of the biggest reasons why people don’t hire a lawyer is because they believe hiring an attorney will cost too much. Sure, seeking legal representation can be an investment, but one that can offer significant advantages to your case:
1. Advise you of your best possible option
Navigating criminal charges alone or settling for a court-appointed attorney is sure to create a margin for mistakes. Hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney gives you direct access to fully investigate the case, ensure your rights are protected, and pursue options you didn’t know existed.
2. Analyze the evidence and burden of proof
Most people have limited legal competence beyond a basic understanding of their Miranda Rights. Moreover, the most fundamental pillar of our judicial system is innocent until proven guilty. A defendant has no burden of proof, the prosecution has to prove guilt. A criminal defense attorney provides the best ability to question and dispute any evidence that does not meet the necessary burden of proof for a conviction.
3. Negotiate a better plea deal
Not only may an attorney advise against entering a guilty plea, but they may be able to negotiate arrangements that can significantly reduce criminal charges. These negotiations might include alternative sentencing such as suspended sentences, probation, restitution, and community service.
Remember, acknowledging guilt doesn’t eliminate the need for skilled and experienced legal representation. Strong and personalized counsel will always have a positive impact on your case.
Communicating With Your Defense Attorney
Creating a collaborative and trusting environment is crucial to achieving a favorable legal outcome. Here are a few communication tips that foster a positive relationship and ensure things move in the right direction:
1. Always answer questions truthfully, even if you are scared.
2. Include the little details; don’t hide slight details that can alter perception.
3. Allow your attorney to guide you through the conversation and next steps, helping you with what to say and what not to say.
Turn to Strong & Reliable Representation
Never accept a guilty plea without fighting. At Walker Law Office, Mekisha Jane Walker provides the strong and reliable representation needed to fight your charges. Whether you have recently been charged or have charges pending, let her navigate the Texas criminal process on your behalf. She proudly serves Houston, Texas, and Harris, Galveston, Montgomery, Fort Bend, and Brazoria Counties.