Can A Defendant Plead Guilty If They Aren’t?
You can, but why? The government has the burden of proof; hold them to it.
Can A Guilty Plea Be Withdrawn?
Maybe. I would never recommend entering a plea with the thought you can withdraw it later, because you can never count on that. But under some circumstances, such as your attorney failing to advise you about immigration consequences, you might be able to. IF you have already entered a plea that you want to withdraw, call us to discuss whether it is realistic in your situation.
Will My Punishment Be Worse If I Am Found Guilty At Trial Than Had I Taken A Plea?
Probably. The judge is not allowed to punish you for exercising your right to trial, but trial can carry a few risks. First, if the prosecution offers to dismiss or reduce charges as part of a plea, and you are convicted of those charges at trial, the judge will sentence you based on the charges you are actually convicted of, and that will make the sentence worse. Second, a CWOF or other disposition short of a conviction may be available as part of a plea, but will not be if you are found guilty at trial. It is often worth discussing a pela and getting the prosecution to make an offer in writing so that if you are only convicted of the charges they would have insisted you plead guilty to, they cannot ask for a worse sentence at trial.
What Are The Disadvantages To Pleading Guilty In My Criminal Case?
The disadvantages are that you lose whatever possibility you had of winning at trial, or of negotiating a better plea, or disposing of the case some other way, such as through a motion to dismiss or a motion to suppress evidence. You will obviously have to serve whatever sentence your plea carries. In addition, if you plead guilty or are convicted at trial, you will have a record that will follow you around for a lot of different purposes—immigration, employment, housing, etc. If you take a CWOF, you will have a more limited record but it will still follow your around in some situations—immigration, security clearance, etc.
I Know I Am Guilty Of At Least Some Of What I Am Accused Of Doing. I Have A Court Date Coming Up. Shouldn’t I Just Go Ahead And Plead Guilty And Get It Over With?
Only if you have decided this is the best course of action after a full discussion with an attorney. You should insist on getting the best outcome you can get in your case, even if you are actually guilty. You are legally innocent until proven guilty, so there is no dishonesty in maintaining your innocence and making the government prove their case, even if you did 100% of what they accuse you of. If you feel bad about what you did, you can make up for it by offering restitution to the victim (but consult with an attorney first to avoid charges of witness tampering), or by doing community service or giving to charity or something. I can recommend my favorite charity if you need advice on this. But you getting a record that will follow you around for life, if you could have avoided it, does not benefit anyone except the prosecutor who gets another feather in their cap. It will actually impair your ability to be a productive and contributing member of society and make up for whatever you did.
How Does Pleading Guilty Remove Any Chances Of Appellate Relief?
When you plead guilty in state court, you give up your right to appeal. In federal court, you may have the right to enter a conditional plea. In a conditional plea, you give up most appellate rights, but retain the right to appeal on particular issues, typically to appeal the denial of a motion to dismiss or a motion to suppress evidence, or to appeal the sentence.
What Are The Alternatives To Pleading Guilty?
You can go to trial, trial to negotiate a better plea, or if legal grounds for one exist you can pursue a motion to dismiss or a motion to suppress evidence.
When Should I Accept The Plea Bargain In My Case?
When you have discussed all possibilities with your attorney and decided no better option exists.
For more information on Pleading Guilty To Criminal Charges in MA, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (617) 718-5550 today.