Do I Need a Lawyer if I Plan To Plead Guilty?

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( — October 27, 2022) — Dealing with criminal charges can be very stressful. No matter how innocent or guilty you are, you may be tempted to plead guilty just to get it over with. However, this isn’t a good move no matter how you look at it.

According to, pleading guilty without consulting with your lawyer, or without a lawyer at all, means that you will most likely receive the harshest sentence. Even if the reason that you plead guilty is because of the intense guilt that you feel, you have to remember that you are a human being after all and that your motives, circumstances, and everything must be accounted for.

You shouldn’t throw away your defense lightly. Do not plead guilty before first consulting with a defense lawyer.

What Pleading Guilty Means

When you plead guilty, you essentially admit to committing the crime that you are accused of and you forfeit your right to trial. You can plead guilty either verbally or in writing during a plea bargain. A plea bargain is an agreement between you and the prosecutor in which you agree to plead guilty in order to receive a lighter sentence or you admit your guilt for lesser offenses.

Reaching this point without a lawyer is difficult because it requires legal knowledge and negotiating skills. Often, the best plea bargain deals can only be obtained by your lawyer, and not on your own.

Plea bargains can help you avoid harsher sentences. Some defendants choose this option when they don’t want to go through the hassle and expense of a trial. When you plead guilty, without a legal advisor by your side, it could change your life dramatically. 

You may face prison time, probation, and pay fines. Apart from this, it will show up on your criminal record which will affect you for a long time, especially when it comes to job prospects. This is why it is best to consult with an attorney before taking the plea deal. 

No Contest Plea

A no-contest plea is similar to a guilty plea. However, in this scenario, the defendant doesn’t plead or admit guilt, but they accept the conviction. It is a tactic often used in plea bargains to avoid trial and harsher sentences that may come due to the conviction. In some situations, it can protect a defendant’s assets from being seized by the victim in civil lawsuits. 

Pleading Guilty in Court With a Lawyer

Having a lawyer by your side will help you better understand the charges that you face and the potential consequences of pleading guilty. Lawyers can negotiate with prosecutors more easily than defendants. 

They have a different relationship, not to mention the experience lawyers have especially if they solved similar cases to yours. The plea agreement is often beneficial for the defendant if their lawyer takes care of it, but you will be informed exactly of what might happen. 

Lawyers won’t advise you to opt for a plea deal if you have a strong case on your hands. In the end, only a lawyer can tell you if you have a good shot at having your charges dropped or reduced. They know the best when it’s time for a plea bargain or not.