The court will ask a person charged with a crime whether they want to plead guilty or not guilty at an arraignment. In most cases, the best option is to plead not guilty at this point. You can chance your plea later after you have talked to an attorney. At Law Office of Michael L. Fell, even if you are guilty we can negotiate with the prosecutor to find the best possible plea deal for your case.
In fact, if we see a defendant plead guilty at an arraignment, we can feel fairly certain that said defendant has made a mistake. Keep on reading to learn four reasons they may be making this mistake. Then contact us at (949) 585-9055 if you are in need of a free legal consultation.
- They Do Not Have an Attorney
- The Defendant Hasn’t Received Discovery
- The Defendant Wants to Know for Sure What Will Happen
- The Defendant Does Not Realize How Serious the Charge Against Them
You would be hard pressed to find a defendant with an attorney who pleads guilty at their initial arraignment. The only way they would likely do so is if it was against their attorney’s advice. An experienced criminal defense attorney can talk to their client about potential issues with evidence against them and other reasons it is worth considering the case before pleading guilty.
It is common for a defendant to not have received discover before they are asked to plead guilty or not guilty. If the defendant does not have the evidence against them, or even a copy of the police report, then they may believe the police when they are told there is a rock solid case against them.
A person facing criminal charges may feel desperate, terrified, depressed, and many other emotions. They may want to simply move on with their lives and may believe that their best option is to plead guilty, get sentenced, and start serving said sentence.
The truth is that doing this can mean decades more in prison than if their attorney had successfully negotiated a plea deal, depending on the charge. While it can be tempting to simply plead guilty to “get it over with,” it is not worth it if it means a much longer jail sentence.
A person charged with murder likely knows how serious the charges are. However, a person who has been charged with a crime that does not sound as “scary” may not realize just how serious the ramifications are. For example, a person charged with reckless driving may assume that they are going to get a ticket and a fine, not realizing that this is actually a criminal charge that can come with significant jail time.
As you can see, it is always worth at least consulting with an attorney. Contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.