Someone who is guilty of the crime they’re accused of may feel like it’s a waste of money to hire an attorney, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Even if someone is guilty, that doesn’t mean the lawyer will be unable to help. In fact, there is quite a bit the lawyer can do, and it may be possible to avoid or minimize a conviction and potential penalties. Before pleading guilty, the accused should know how a lawyer can help and what their options are going forward.
Possibility of Dismissed Charges
Even if the accused is guilty of the crime, it is possible that the charges can be dismissed. If the person is charged with possession of drugs, for instance, and the search that led to the discovery of the drugs was not done legally, it may mean the drugs cannot be used as evidence against the person. If this happens, there may not be sufficient evidence for a conviction, so the lawyer may be able to have the charges dismissed. If this happens, the accused no longer faces a conviction.
Possibility of Reduced Charges
If there is sufficient evidence the accused committed the crime, it may still be possible to seek reduced charges. A lawyer may argue that a lessor offense fits the situation better or they may be able to work out a plea bargain with the prosecution. This could mean a misdemeanour is reduced to an infraction or a felony is reduced to a misdemeanour charge, and it could mean the penalties the accused is facing will be much lower.
Possibility of Reduced Penalties
Sometimes, it is not possible to avoid a conviction. In these cases, a lawyer can still help by seeking reduced penalties. It may be possible to request a more lenient sentence from the judge or to do treatment in lieu of a lengthy jail term. A lawyer can review the possible options with their client and let the accused know if there is a possibility of a reduced sentence. Depending on the penalties the person is facing, this could be a significant change and can help minimize the impact the sentence will have on their life.
Other Options to Consider
There may be other options to consider, as well. For instance, a person may be able to seek a deferred conviction. With this, the person has to complete certain requirements given to them by the judge. If they complete the requirements, their conviction will be dismissed and they will not have a criminal record. If they are unable to complete the requirements, however, they will have a conviction on their record. This is typically for first-time offenders, but there may be other options to look into as well.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with any crime, even if you’re guilty, now’s the time to speak with a defense attorney and learn more about your options. Even if you are guilty, there are ways for the lawyer to help, and this can mean minimizing the penalties you’re facing or avoiding a conviction on your record.