What Rights Do I Give Up If I Plead Guilty to a Crime?
Pleading Guilty to a Crime Can Have Dire Consequences
You give up many rights when you plead guilty to a crime. The majority of the rights that you give up are related to your right to a trial. You also give up your right to an appeal. Pleading guilty is an extremely important decision that should not be made lightly. Many lawyers are scared by trials and only want to have their clients plead guilty, but a skilled criminal defense lawyer will look at all possible trial defenses before recommended any guilty plea to a client.
It is important to understand you have all of these rights regardless of the court where your case is pending. Whether your case is in a small municipal court that looks like nothing more than a small room with several folding chairs, or if your case is in a large, spectacularly decorated courthouse, all of the rights you have prior to pleading guilty remain the same. Regardless of what the court looks like, it is important to speak with your lawyer about these rights and what are the costs and benefits of options other than a plea of guilty.
10 Rights You Give Up By Pleading Guilty
- Right to a trial by a judge or a jury
- The right to the assistance of a lawyer at trial
- If it would have been a jury trial, the right to have all twelve jurors find you guilty
- The right to confront the witnesses against you at trial
- The right to remain silent, including not having to testify at a trial and the prosecutor not commenting on your silence at trial
- The right against self-incrimination
- The right compel any witnesses that have facts favorable to you to testify at trial
- The right to remain innocent until proven guilty
- The right to make the prosecutor prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt
- The right to appeal a guilty verdict
Are These Rights Important? – Many of these are fundamental rights given to us all by the United States Constitution. None of these rights should be given up lightly. Please consult a quality criminal defense lawyer regarding your case before you plead guilty. Once you have plead guilty there is far less a lawyer can do to help you with your case. If you are not certain your lawyer has given you the best advice, then prior to pleading guilty is the right time to consult other lawyers.
Although each of these rights is an incredibly important part of our system of justice, there are benefits to giving up these rights and pleading guilty under the right circumstances. In many situations an experienced lawyer will be able to negotiate a favorable plea deal for cases based on each cases individual facts and circumstances. Lawyers with a reputation for taking cases to trial and winning cases are in a better position to negotiate a favorable plea agreement because prosecutors know trial is a real possibility, and some prosecutors look to avoid trials, which then provides a great benefit to the trial lawyer’s client.
Criminal Defense Lawyer Jason Korner – There are only a few lawyers who have tried enough criminal cases to be calm and confident in the courtroom during a jury trial. Jason Korner has tried and won many misdemeanor and felony trials. He has been sought out by other lawyers who need assistance and advice going to trial in criminal cases. If you have not yet plead guilty and want to discuss your case with one of the top criminal defense trial lawyers in St. Louis, then contact Jason Korner at 314-409-2659 to discuss your case.