Last week, we wrote a blog titled “What Should You Do If You’re Innocent,” and we explored how you should navigate your criminal case in the event that you are innocent of the charges levied against you. But what if you did commit the crime you’re charged with? You should know that there’s also a playbook that you should follow in the event that you believe you’re guilty of the charges against you. In today’s blog, we take a look at what you should do if you’re guilty.
I’m Guilty. What Should I Do?
Some people incorrectly believe that they have no recourse in the event that they think that they are guilty of the charges levied against them. They may assume that the best move is to just plead guilty and hope for leniency from the judge, but that’s rarely the best move. Instead, consider these tips:
1. Consult With A Lawyer – Talking with a lawyer is the single best thing you can do in the event that you suspect that you’ll be found guilty of the charges you are facing. For starters, there’s more that goes into a criminal case than meets the eye. If the police violated your rights, conducted an illegal search or improperly filled out reports on their end, it can severely hurt the credibility of their case. Rarely is a case open and shut, so talk with your lawyer about your possible defenses even if you think that you don’t have a leg to stand on.
2. Negotiate – Your lawyer can handle this process for you, or you can do it on your own, but you’ll benefit from setting up a meeting with the prosecutor or district attorney handling your case. State prosecutors tend to have a very large caseload, so if you approach them with the prospect of reaching a deal that takes one less case off their load, they’ll probably be very receptive.
Be delicate in your approach and don’t just say that you’re guilty and you’re hoping for a deal. Let them know that you’re willing to go to court, but you’re wondering if out of court arraignments could be made that would be beneficial for both sides. For minor crimes, oftentimes you can have the charges reduced or you can plead guilty to the crime but have some say in the penalties, which can prove more beneficial than leaving it up to a judge. Again, your lawyer will be more than happy to navigate these discussions for you, as they are more experienced at achieving favorable outcomes, so don’t assume that you have no use for a lawyer if you’re guilty.
3. Keep Your Head Down – We also mentioned this point in our sister blog, but make sure that you stay out of trouble while your case is pending. Don’t try to contact an alleged victim or put yourself in a position that could get out of control. Having more pending charges on your record won’t do anything to help your position. Keep your head down and stay out of trouble.
The best thing you can do if you believe you’re guilty is to contact a lawyer and follow their lead. They may not be able to get the charges dropped, but they can absolutely help you get into a better position than you’d find yourself if you simply pled guilty. For more information, or for help with your criminal issue, reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.