Do You Need a Lawyer if You are Going to Plead Guilty?


If you are charged with a crime, you may be questioning whether you need a lawyer, especially if you are planning on pleading guilty. It may seem like a waste of money to hire a criminal defense lawyer if your plan is to simply accept punishment. However, avoiding hiring a lawyer to represent you could be a big mistake. Pleading guilty without the advice of a licensed attorney could result in criminal charges that could have been prevented, an incomplete understanding of the seriousness of your current charges, or unnecessarily severe penalties.

Lawyers Can Save You from an Unnecessary Guilty Plea

In some cases, it may seem like pleading guilty is the right decision and you may feel that you will get better treatment by cooperating fully. However, even an honest desire to “own up” to a mistake can result in avoidable lifelong consequences. A lawyer will be able to review your case and help you decide if pleading guilty is really the best option available. Experienced lawyers review the prosecutors’ case and determine if the police or court system made a mistake. This could possibly allow your attorney to file a motion to dismiss, saving you from pleading guilty to a crime that would not hold up in court. A criminal record of any kind can negatively affect your rights, so receiving professional advice on your case may be very important for your future. A lawyer can clarify the convoluted language in your case and help you make the correct decision for your future.

Understanding Your Guilty Plea

If you plan on pleading guilty to a criminal charge, you have most likely looked at what the possible punishments are for your charge. However, pleading guilty to a criminal charge can have additional unforeseen consequences on your life and your future. A prosecutor may emphasize that accepting a charge may involve no jail time and a minimal or deferred fine. Even if they are being sincere, this does not mean that a guilty plea will avoid:

  • Probation
  • Loss of Driver’s License
  • Loss of Professional License
  • Deportation
  • Impede You from Living in Public Housing
  • Reduce Earning Potential or Employment Options
  • Prohibit You from Owning a Firearm

Lawyers Can Help Reduce Sentences

If you are certain that you want to accept a guilty plea, there can still be variation that may have serious implications on your life. A lawyer can negotiate a plea agreement with the state to help reduce sentencing. Lawyers are often experienced negotiators and know how to properly negotiate with the prosecutors on a recommendation for sentencing. A criminal lawyer knows what is important to the court and knows how to present your circumstances in a way that can be beneficial to you. By hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, you can help minimize the possible penalties you will face.

Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you or someone you know is facing a criminal charge, it is important that you act immediately and find legal representation. A criminal attorney can review your case and help advise you on the best course of action. Criminal charges carry lasting effects on your life, and a skilled attorney can help save you from an unnecessary guilty plea or an overly punitive sentencing. Contact Berry Law to discuss your case with our Lincoln and Omaha criminal defense lawyers so we can begin advising you and building your defense today.

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