Some criminal defendants decide to plead guilty to their charges, so they imagine that they can avoid the hassle of finding a criminal defense attorney to represent them. At Tad Nelson & Associates, we think this is a big mistake. Our Houston criminal defense attorney identifies 4 reasons why.
Have You Thought about the Consequences?
Pleading guilty might sound convenient, but many people have fully thought through the consequences. Even if the prosecutor has tendered a generous plea deal that lets you avoid jail, you still could face some problems down the road.
For example, a misdemeanor conviction will show up on your criminal history check. That is something you’ll need to address when applying for a job or submitting an application for an apartment. Some employers simply won’t hire someone with any type of conviction, whether you ended up in jail or not.
Even traffic tickets can increase your insurance premiums and possibly lead to a license suspension. Before pleading guilty, it’s best to meet with an experienced attorney to fully consider the consequences. On second thought, you might decide to fight the charges.
Is This Really the Best Deal Possible?
The plea deal might look generous to you—but is it really? Yes, prosecutors have an incentive to get cases cleared, which is why they often make plea deals. But the deal on the table might not be the best you can get. Let an attorney review your charges and determine whether to negotiate for a better deal.
Could You Beat the Charges?
Not every case is as open-and-shut as prosecutors think. For example, even if you are guilty, there might be ways to fight the charges:
- We might ask a judge to suppress evidence if the police collected it without a search warrant or without probable cause.
- We can have a judge suppress any incriminating statements–including a confession–if you weren’t read your Miranda warnings while in custody.
- We can challenge physical evidence or chemical tests as unreliable, which means a jury might discount their value.
Instead of just pleading guilty, consult an experienced Houston criminal defense attorney to review the facts. It might be possible to get charges dismissed or to be acquitted in court.
Do You Have Other Options?
Instead of pleading guilty, you might seek deferred adjudication in some situations. This will let you serve a term of probation, and at the end you won’t have a conviction. You can truthfully answer that you have no criminal convictions going forward. Even better, you might be able to seal your record, which means no one even needs to know about your arrest.
Deferred adjudication is not always an option, so consult an attorney to see if you qualify. It is better than a guilty plea.
Protect Your Future—Contact Us Today
Tad Nelson has decades of experience in criminal law and is available to meet with anyone facing criminal charges in Houston. No case is too small to fight, so call him to schedule a meeting.