Facing criminal charges can be a daunting experience. Defendants are met with the full force of the government, including law enforcement officers, judges, and prosecutors. Because of this, some defendants think they should plead guilty rather than taking a chance of being convicted at trial. This will not always achieve the best outcome of a criminal case. Even if you do end up pleading guilty, it is important to do so at the right time. An experienced Indiana criminal defense attorney can help you understand all options to find the best strategy for resolving the charges against you.
Even if the government has strong evidence against you, it might not be admissible at trial. The Fourth Amendment prevents illegal searches and seizures. Law enforcement officials must have a warrant before they can search your home or vehicle (or take incriminating evidence that they find there). Case law has identified some exceptions to the warrant requirement, but these must be used properly, and only in limited circumstances. Your defense lawyer can work to suppress evidence that cannot lawfully be used against you. Without this evidence, a prosecutor will be more willing to negotiate a fair plea deal. In some cases, the charges against you might be dismissed altogether, if there is not enough evidence left to sustain a conviction.
Even if evidence was lawfully obtained, there are many rules of evidence that can ban the evidence at trial. Only an experienced defense lawyer can determine whether evidence can fairly be used against you, so it is important to get your own lawyer fighting on your side.
Even if pleading guilty is the right strategy for your case, it is important to do so at the right time. A prosecutor is negotiating for your plea. In exchange for pleading guilty, the prosecutor agrees to a sentence less than what you would face at trial. If you plead guilty right away, the prosecutor no longer has a reason to negotiate with you. He or she can ask the court to impose the harshest sentence possible.
So what is a fair plea deal? Every case is different. It depends on how many charges have been filed, the types of charges, the strength of the prosecutor’s evidence, and prior criminal record, and many other factors. It is also important to decide what outcome is most important to you. If, for example, you would rather have a misdemeanor on your record than a felony, a prosecutor may agree to let you plea down to reduced charges in exchange for extra jail time, or a longer period of supervised probation. There are many possibilities like this. You need your own lawyer to review your case before you can make an informed decision about whether or not to accept a plea deal.
At Arshad Pangere Warring, we fight hard to protect defendants’ important constitutional rights. Contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced Indiana criminal defense lawyer. The sooner you have an attorney fighting on your side, the better protected your legal rights will be.
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