A Former Prosecutor Defending Clients in Wyoming and South Dakota

Should I Hire a Lawyer If I Think I’m Guilty?

People facing criminal charges often wonder if the cost of hiring a lawyer is worth it, especially if they plan to plead guilty or think they’re guilty. Many people believe they should just enter a guilty plea, take their punishment, and try to get on with life as best as possible. Others believe that hiring a lawyer makes them look guilty, or that a lawyer will judge them for having made a poor decision or made a mistake.

Nothing could be further from the truth. There are countless benefits to hiring a lawyer. If you’re under investigation or have been charged with a crime, talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to explore your options.

A lawyer can help make sure you understand the charges against you, the potential penalties, and the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case. A lawyer will protect your rights, can negotiate a plea to a lesser charge or a less severe sentence, and will explain the consequences of a guilty plea.

A Lawyer Holds Prosecutors to their Burden of Proof

As a former prosecutor and now as a criminal defense lawyer, I’ve seen it all. I know that police officers and prosecutors overreach and over-charge. But I’m less concerned with what the police say happened that I am with whether the arrest was conducted properly and what the prosecutor can prove.

I’ve been in practice since 2001 and I understand that legal guilt - proof beyond a reasonable doubt - is often vastly different from a prosecutor’s accusations. As a criminal defense lawyer, I’ll probably never know whether you actually did what the police and prosecutor say you did. And even if you did, I’m intensely focused on the process. The Constitution says that everyone accused of a crime is entitled to a defense, and it’s my job to provide you with that defense and meets his burden of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution says that you have a right to a lawyer to defend you in all critical phases of a criminal investigation. You don’t need to have been formally charged with a crime to need a lawyer. In fact, it’s best to hire a lawyer as soon as you believe you’re under investigation.

Even though everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the reality is that police officers, prosecutors, and even jurors may assume you’re guilty as soon as you’ve been arrested. This means that you need someone on your side who will be your advocate, and fight to prove that you’re not guilty.

How a Lawyer Can Help

Police officers are most concerned with getting information they can use to help prove you guilty. It’s not their job to explain the nature of the charges against you, and they’re not on your side. When you hire a lawyer, your attorney will fully explain the nature of the charges against you, the potential penalties, and help point out inconsistencies in the prosecutor’s case that can be used to negotiate a favorable plea deal or even have the case against you dismissed.

If you have been charged with a crime you are still presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if there’s evidence that you committed a crime, or you even believe you committed a crime, you should still hire a lawyer. Until you have been found guilty in a court of law, you have the right to due process. And that’s where I can help.

To prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor must present evidence. Is the evidence credible? Was it collected properly? Was the stop or search legal? Did the police officer have probable cause? Was evidence handled appropriately, or could it have been compromised? A lawyer can challenge the prosecutor’s evidence against you to have the charges reduced, to negotiate a favorable plea deal, or even have the case against you dismissed.

A good lawyer can also help reduce the penalties for a crime. A criminal defense lawyer knows what’s important to the prosecutor and to the judge, and can work to help you get a good deal. We know which prosecutors have a history of bluffing about plea bargains and can help you negotiate a favorable plea arrangement.

There can be other consequences to a guilty plea, beyond just the fine and potential jail time. You might lose your driver’s license, face professional discipline or loss of a professional license, forfeit the right to possess a firearm, face deportation, lose your right to custody or visitation with your minor children, or lose access to public housing options. A lawyer will help advise you of the potential consequences of a guilty plea and can work with the prosecutor to minimize the impact of a criminal conviction.

If you’ve been charged with a crime, even if you think you’re guilty, talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help by fully explaining the charges against you, protecting your rights, and negotiating a favorable plea deal.

At Just Criminal Law, my team of criminal defense professionals is committed to you and protecting your one shot at justice. We will thoroughly investigate and analyze the charges against you, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, help negotiate a plea bargain or take your case to trial, and provide advice on the consequences of a guilty plea or verdict.

Learn more about the cases we handle, why clients choose us, and contact us today to schedule a personalized case review and strategy session. Call (307) 686-6556, email inquiry@justcriminallaw.com, or complete our online form.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is offered for educational purposes only. This information is not offered as legal advice. A person accused of a crime should always consult with an attorney before making decisions that have legal consequences.

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