Pleading Guilty After Getting Charged With a Crime in Rock Hill
Many clients want to plead guilty. It happens quite often, and my usual advice to them is to gather all the information you can about the known consequences if you are just pleading guilty, and figure out all what collateral consequences come with pleading guilty. Think about the charges, because as we have discussed earlier, the charges are not set in stone. An attorney can work with the solicitor to potentially change the charges, or at least minimize them as much as possible. Many people will say, “Okay, yes. I didn’t do necessarily what they say, or I did try to what they say but I just don’t want to have quite all those consequences that are at the top-end of the range”.
A Rock Hill criminal defense attorney can help make sure you are at the bottom-end of the range of consequences, which can help make the whole process quicker and easier for everyone involved. The client is in charge of everything, and has the last word in these decisions. They are the ones who are paying the consequences. The client, as long as they are informed, can make good decisions about what consequences they can live with, and that is really all that is important. People tend to see that as a good outcome, even if they have been convicted of a crime.
If they know that they did it, they want to pay their dues, as long as they know what is going to happen, and eyes are wide open. People tend to be satisfied with that kind of an outcome. You get a better result that way, and you get important information when working with an attorney. That is usually my advice to anybody who walks into my firm. I want you to get the best deal possible, because as long as you are retaining my services, you might as well minimize the amount you are paying.
Going to Trial or Settling a Criminal Case
Most cases tend to settle out of court, and not go trial. There are literally thousands of cases on any given day that are active. Most cases, if you have an experienced attorney, and all facts are pertinent to the case, it would be a fifty-fifty chance, or less if, you went to trial. Our experienced Rock Hill criminal attorneys will explain to you all the risks involved. You decide, as a client what your tolerance for gambling is — whether or not you want to take that twenty-percent chance that the jury just might decide, “No, I don’t believe the prosecution”, in which case you will be found not guilty and not face any consequences. If you do not want to take that risk, and not wait to find out those consequences that the judge could impose on you and you really want to have a guaranteed outcome, that is where a plea deal comes in to play. That is where a settlement happens, and that is where an attorney can work with you. That is how most cases go, because most people do not want to spend the next six months or years worrying about charges, and what will happen in the future.
Most cases settle out of court, because it is easier and quicker for the client. They can move on with their lives. Occasionally, for principle, the fact that the client has not done anything wrong, or the fact that the prosecution and law enforcement have not done their jobs, make it so trial is the way to go. The system is not perfect and because a miscarriage of justice can happen, trial is there to give people the chance to tell their side.
How Prior Arrests or Convictions Impact a Criminal Case
If you have prior convictions, they can affect anyone’s criminal case, sometimes to a lesser degree, sometimes to a fantastically large degree. It all depends on what the prior conviction was, and how closely related the new charges are. For example, if this is the first time you have been arrested, you have the option to get into an intervention program. You are much more likely to be granted a suspended sentence, probation, shorter sentences, or smaller fines, because everybody makes mistakes, everybody does something wrong once. It is easy to see how maybe something just temporarily got out of control.
Multiple convictions show a pattern of making bad decisions. That is no longer considered accidental by the court, and it is not something that can be explained as not your fault. You are no longer eligible for any diversion programs, and the court is far less likely to let you out with easy consequences, because you probably did that the last time and you did not learn your lesson. You will not receive benefits of the doubt, the discretion in your favor is not likely at this point. Your first arrest can have a small range of consequences, the second one doubles, the third one etc. The results can mean higher the crime charged (felony vs. misdemeanor, 1st degree vs. third), longer time in jail, and fines may double or more. Remember, as you build a record, the courts will come down on you much harder.