Fortunately, in the U.S., those facing criminal charges can choose whether to take their case to trial or enter a guilty plea and accept a conviction. While pleading guilty can help you avoid a trial, it will also result in being subject to harsh penalties, including substantial fines, possible jail time, and a record that will follow you for the rest of your life. As such, many criminal defendants wonder whether they should ever plead guilty to a crime. Please continue reading to learn whether it is ever the right choice to plead guilty to a crime in New York and how a skilled Astoria Criminal Defense Lawyer can help guide you through every step of this process and protect you from an uncertain future.
If you are genuinely innocent of the crime you have been charged with, you should not plead guilty, as initially admitting guilt can make it impossible for an attorney to defend you or yourself. If you are arrested, it is crucial that you exercise your constitutional rights. This includes exercising your right to remain silent, as anything you say or do can and will be used against you. It is in your best interest to refrain from speaking to the police or accepting any plea bargain agreements before speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
As per your constitutional rights, you also have the right to an attorney and the right to a speedy trial by a jury of peers to seek an acquittal. It is never the right choice to plead guilty to a crime without first conferring with your criminal defense attorney, as they will help you determine whether pleading guilty is the best course of action to achieve the best possible outcome. They can even negotiate with the prosecutor a favorable plea deal in which, in exchange for entering a guilty plea to a lesser charge, in return, the remaining charges would be dismissed or reduced, or the state would recommend a lesser penalty.
Although you may be convinced that pleading guilty is the best long-term choice, you should not make this decision alone. In most cases, people choose to enter a guilty plea because of the time and expense of a criminal trial. A criminal trial can take several months to a year, as multiple continuances can prolong the process. This can result in hefty legal fees you may be unable to afford. However, despite the length and cost of a criminal trial, you must fight to protect your rights and preserve your freedom.
If you’ve been arrested, it is in your best interest to contact a determined Astoria, Queens, criminal defense lawyer from Vasiliou Law, who can aggressively defend you to protect your rights and interests. Our firm is prepared to help combat your charges at every turn.