Whether you committed the crime or not, you know the facts look bad and you just want the case to go away. You plan on pleading guilty. Do you still need an attorney?
97% of criminal cases in California are settled before trial with a plea bargain. Plea bargains save the court time and resources. In a plea bargain, you agree to plead guilty to a lesser charge in order to receive a less severe punishment. Of course, this means you don’t go to trial.
There are many reasons to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney, even if you are going to plead guilty. Prosecutors will try to rush things along and take advantage of your inexperience in legal matters. There is still a complicated court process even when you are taking a plea bargain. An experienced criminal attorney can make sure things are handled correctly and ensure that you aren’t opening yourself up to further legal troubles by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time during this process.
An Attorney Can Protect Your Rights and Your Best Interests
Your attorney will make sure that your rights are protected during the plea process. During a plea deal, the prosecution needs to present the case they have against you and share the evidence that will be used. If there was a problem with the way evidence was obtained, an attorney can identify the problem and move to have the evidence thrown out.
Without an attorney, you have no one looking out for your best interests. During the plea process, an attorney may be able to spot weaknesses in the prosecution’s case that could lead to a reduced sentence or even the case being dismissed.
You Need A Properly Negotiated Plea Deal
A seasoned attorney will understand the implications of the charges against you. They will know the strengthens and weaknesses of the prosecutor’s case and help you understand the reasons why a plea deal may be in your best interest. If that is the case, an attorney will secure the right plea deal.
An experienced attorney may have dealt with your prosecutor in the past and have a good sense of how to negotiate with them. Every county, every judge and every courtroom plays by their own unofficial rules. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how a courtroom and the prosecutor operates; this is useful in creating a strategy for your case.
An attorney experienced with negotiating a plea deal can make sure that you get a less severe punishment than what may be initially offered. You may even be able to negotiate a plea deal with no jail time at all. Your attorney can even negotiate a plea bargain that doesn’t leave you with a criminal conviction.
A plea bargain is nearly impossible to undo. This is something that needs to be negotiated correctly the first time. You want to make sure that a criminal defense attorney reviews all the terms of the plea bargain.
Even a simple matter can quickly get complicated without the insight of an experienced criminal defense attorney.