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If I Plan on Pleading Guilty, Do I Still Need a Lawyer?

— February 23, 2022

It may seem easy to accept the first plea bargain that the state offers you if you are guilty of a crime, but you should always try to get the best deal possible.

Being accused of a crime is the greatest fear of many people. There are a few outcomes when you are charged with a crime; you will be found guilty, not guilty, or the case will be dismissed. However, if you have committed a crime and the evidence is stacked against you, you might consider pleading guilty. But, even if you are going to plead guilty, you need an attorney so you get the lightest sentence possible. 

An attorney will know more about specific laws than the average citizen, and they will have a better idea of what sort of penalties are reasonable in your case. 

What is a plea bargain?

A plea bargain is an agreement between the state and a person accused of a crime. The state will make compromises in sentencing if an accused person pleads guilty.

If the state has a solid case against a defendant, they will often offer them a plea bargain to save the citizens of the community the time and expense of a trial. The state may offer a lighter sentence than they would normally impose for the crime of which the defendant has been accused. They may even drop some of the charges against them in some cases. Consequently, a defendant may take a plea bargain to avoid the bad publicity and expense of a trial. 

The plea bargain that you are offered will depend upon the crime of which you are accused and the circumstances surrounding it. In some cases, you may have to agree to testify against another person involved in the crime you are accused of committing. This often happens in cases involving organized crime. 

However, you should only take a plea bargain if you are actually guilty. You will confess to the crime in court before a judge, and once you have entered your plea, the judge will sentence you. 

Why You Need an Attorney

It may seem easy to accept the first plea bargain that the state offers you if you are guilty of a crime, but you should always try to get the best deal possible. Depending on the crime you have committed, you may face fines, probation, or even jail time.

Hallway of jail cells
Hallway of jail cells; image courtesy of Tom Blackout via Unsplash,

When you have a criminal record, there are certain jobs you will not be able to get. It will be especially difficult if you are charged with a  felony. A good plea bargain can mean the difference between a felony crime and a misdemeanor. 

A Criminal Defense in Delaware County will be well versed in the law and will research your case to find out what kinds of plea bargains other people who have been accused of similar crimes have been given. They will be up to date on any changes to the laws that affect your case. 

What to Look for in an Attorney

The attorney you select should have years of experience in criminal law, should have an excellent reputation with the state bar, and have practiced law in Pennsylvania for many years.

A criminal conviction is one of life’s most difficult experiences, but it does not have to be devastating. A good attorney can work out a plea bargain that will satisfy the courts and let you pay your debt to society so that you can move on with your life.

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