Should I Still Hire an Attorney
if I Think I’m Guilty?
March 21, 2022
Anytime you’re facing criminal charges, you’re in for a lot of work regardless of your guilt or innocence. Once you’ve been charged, you’re now entering the criminal justice system, and your decisions can dramatically affect your future. Unfortunately, many people falsely believe that they don’t need to hire an attorney if they think they are guilty. However, even if you plead guilty, you likely still have options in front of you—but only if you know how to pursue them.
In 2020, nearly 64% of criminal defendants in Pennsylvania pleaded guilty, and almost 19% were able to go into a diversion program instead of facing jail time. By hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, you’ll increase your odds of a better outcome than if you simply plead guilty without representation. At the Strand Law Offices, LLC, we have 20 years of experience representing clients like you and are committed to defending your rights. If you’re in the West Chester, Pennsylvania area, including Lancaster County, or the surrounding counties throughout Pennsylvania, call us today to start working on your case.
Possible Consequences of a Guilty Plea
Just because you plead guilty to a crime doesn’t always mean you’ll go to jail. Variables such as the circumstances of the incident, prior convictions, your age, and the effectiveness of your legal counsel can affect what consequences you’ll face. While some standard penalties accompany many crimes, such as jail time and fines, several consequences may be preferable that your attorney can help negotiate for on your behalf, like diversion programs or probation.
There are also lesser-known consequences of a guilty plea that you could face in addition to serving times and paying fines. Some charges like a DUI will result in the suspension or loss of your driver’s license. You may also face employment consequences either due to your loss of transportation or because you now have a criminal record. Depending on your line of work, you could also risk losing your professional license.
Many criminal convictions can also take away your right to carry a firearm, lead to deportation if you’re not a U.S. citizen, or mean the loss of visitation or custody of minor children. All this and more can cause damage to personal and familial relationships.
Reasons to Hire an Attorney
Even if You Think You are Guilty
An experienced criminal defense attorney will not only be well versed in law, but they’ll also have a deep understanding of the local courts. They will likely know the judges and prosecutors you’ll encounter and can use knowledge to better serve you. Even if you think you’re guilty of charges against you, you should still hire an attorney to advise you of your options, negotiate plea deals, advocate for alternatives to jail, and make sure the punishment fits the crime.
A good lawyer will not treat you differently whether they think you’re guilty or innocent—that’s not their job. Their goal is to defend your rights, advocate for the best possible outcome, and try to prove that the prosecutor does not have sufficient evidence to convict you. The burden of proof is on the prosecution, and they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime charged. A good criminal defense attorney will listen to your account of the facts, analyze the evidence, and make the strongest case for you. While they may not be able to avoid any penalties, in many cases they can reduce the impact and duration of these penalties.
Communicating With Your Defense Attorney
Many people may be nervous about hiring an attorney because they’re afraid they might say the wrong thing. Your attorney will always guide you, and you should always answer their questions truthfully. Remember, their job is not to determine your guilt or innocence—that’s up to the judge or jury—their job is to investigate all the available evidence and defend your civic rights. You do not have to be afraid of telling them the truth. In most cases, attorneys prefer to know as much as they can about the case to make informed decisions about the best approach to your defense. And, in nearly all cases, you’ll be protected by attorney-client confidentiality laws.
Don’t Risk Your Future. Call Today.
From our offices in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we’ve built our practice on the belief that everyone is worthy of being heard and that we all make mistakes and deserve a chance to move past them. By calling us at the Strand Law Offices, LLC, you’ll get the guidance and leadership of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will defend your rights and reputation till the end. Call us today to set up a consultation. Our team also serves clients in Lancaster County and the surrounding counties throughout Pennsylvania.