A common question I hear in regards to needing a Criminal and DUI attorney is: ” I was driving under the influence, should I just plead guilty to a DUI and accept my punishment?”
The answer is the same every time—“No!”
And there are three reasons why.
Pleading Guilty May Get You More Punishment
When you walk into court and plead guilty you are throwing yourself at the mercy of the court and you are allowing the prosecutor to ask for whatever they want as a punishment.
When you plead not guilty that gives you the opportunity to negotiate with the prosecutor for an agreed punishment, so you know what you are facing when the case is resolved. That’s the way the system is set up.
Pleading Not Guilty is Not a Statement About Your Innocence
You may be saying to yourself, “yeah, but I know I did it, so I deserve whatever punishment I get. Plus, I feel like I’m lying to the court when I say ‘not guilty’ when I know I am.”
Before I tell you this part I need to explain something to you so you can understand what I’m about to tell you. When you step into a courtroom it’s like you are stepping into an alternate reality. Only the rules control.
And in court, the rule is that when you enter a plea in a DUI case, you are not commenting on your innocence. All you are doing is telling the court you are, for the time being, going to make the prosecutor prove their case against you.
Do you see the difference?
In the case where you think you are guilty you are telling the court that although that may be the case you are making the prosecutor prove it. That’s not the same as proclaiming your innocence.
This happens all the time.
You May be Able to Get Out of Trouble
In this country you are innocent until proven guilty. You have a constitutional right to make the government prove their case against you. You may have more things going against you than others but you are still innocent until proven guilty.
When you hire a Georgia criminal defense attorney they may be able to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case. Problems may be exposed. You may be able to work out a deal.
You never know what is going to happen once the case starts, so you should test the waters and see what happens. If you plead guilty right at the start you can’t do that.
Bottom Line: Don’t Just Plead Guilty
If you have been charged with a crime you need to act fast. Fight for your freedom and fight for your innocence. Hire an attorney right away. Give us a call at 762-323-1460
Tyler Moffitt is a Georgia Criminal Lawyer