If you are ever accused of a crime, you may be overwhelmed with the possible penalties that may follow you. However, it is important that you remain calm and do not automatically admit guilt. Continue reading to learn if you should ever plead guilty to a crime and how one of the experienced New Jersey & Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. can come to your defense.
Is there ever a circumstance in which I should plead guilty to a crime?
In almost every circumstance, it is not in your best interest to automatically plead guilty to a crime. However, it is understandable if you wish to plead guilty when you have either of the following concerns:
- You are worried about time: your trial proceedings may take anywhere from a few months to a year. This legal process may go on for as long as a few years if you appeal a guilty verdict. With this, you may want to initially plead guilty.
- You are worried about cost: your legal fees may become unaffordable if your trial proceedings take a year or more. With this, you may want to initially plead guilty.
In instances such as this, it is recommended that you initially negotiate with the prosecutor and enter a guilty plea. From here, you may attempt to reach a lesser charge in a plea agreement.
Under what circumstances should I plead not guilty?
You must never plead guilty to a crime that you are completely innocent of. This is because you must exercise your right to a speedy trial by a jury of peers. From here, you must seek an acquittal. Below are other circumstances in which you should plead not guilty straight away:
- You carry a professional license in the state of New Jersey (i.e., a medical license, contracting license, teacher’s certification, etc).
- You carry a United States visa or you are otherwise in this country as a lawful permanent resident (i.e., a green card holder).
Should I hire a criminal defense lawyer before admitting guilt?
Before all else, upon being arrested for an alleged crime, you must remember your Miranda rights. That is, you have the right to remain silent, as anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. In addition, you have the right to an attorney, and one may be provided for you if you cannot afford it.
This means that you should not admit guilt or agree to any “deal” with law enforcement before retaining the services of a criminal defense lawyer. So pick up the phone and call one of the skilled New Jersey criminal defense lawyers today. Someone at The Vigilante Law Firm, P.C. will be happy to answer.