The cops and prosecution might tell you that it’s the easier path, but it is rare that deciding to plead guilty to a crime is your best path forward. There are many consequences you could face after being found guilty, so make sure that you exhaust your options fighting these charges first. A Bergen County, New Jersey criminal defense lawyer from our firm is ready to help you.
What Should I Do If I Am Charged With a Crime?
When you are charged with a crime, you should not panic. You have rights and you need to act to protect them. You may be brought into a police station where cops or the prosecutor themself might have questions for you. You are not obligated to answer any of these questions.
You have the right to protect yourself from self-incrimination, and that means that you do not need to talk to these people at all. At this time you should contact a lawyer and get ready to enter a plea of not guilty.
Why Should I Plead Not Guilty?
When you plead not guilty, you have the chance to make a case of your own. With the help of your lawyer, you can push back on the prosecution’s case and show that the state has not found you guilty of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Pleading not guilty could also be the only option for you if you are working in a certain professional field or you are here as an immigrant. When you plead guilty, that does not just mean jail time and fines. It can also affect your reputation and your job. If you have a professional license of some sort, the state board in charge of your profession could hit you with more penalties and potentially derail your career.
If you are here on a visa and trying to immigrate to the United States, being found guilty of a crime could end your dream of settling in the country permanently. This is why you should be careful about what you say and consult an attorney before entering a plea.
When Should I Plead Guilty?
Sometimes the deck is just stacked against you and you cannot be sure if you will succeed at trial. In situations like this, your lawyer can try to negotiate a plea with the prosecutor. You may be able to plead guilty to lesser charges and receive a less severe punishment. A common example of this is a defendant facing a DWI who pleads guilty to reckless driving instead. Your defense attorney can try to negotiate a deal and give you their best advice on whether or not you should take what the prosecutor offers you.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are facing criminal charges, make sure that you have some experienced legal professionals on your side. Contact the Law Office of E. Gregory M. Cannarozzi and schedule a consultation with our team. We can tell you more about your legal options and what we can do to assist you in this difficult time.