What You Need To Know About Pleading Guilty

If you were caught “red-handed” drinking and driving, you may assume the state has enough evidence against you for a slam dunk case. Pleading guilty may seem like the easiest way to resolve the matter quickly and quietly, and in some cases that’s true. If you’re going to plead guilty, do you need an attorney? The short answer is, yes. 

An experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you: 

Minimize Your Sentence 

There are two stages to a criminal trial — determining guilt and sentencing, if applicable. Even if you plead guilty, your attorney can help ensure that your sentence has the minimum possible impact. For example, your lawyer may suggest that with the evidence against you, pleading guilty is in your best interest. 

However, your attorney can also plead with the court that you aren’t deserving of the harshest sentence. In some cases, a lawyer can help you avoid incarceration entirely in exchange for counseling, community service, and other programs aimed at recidivism. This is more likely to occur in cases of first-time offenses or when the defendant can show evidence of good character.  

Balance the Power Between Defense and Prosecution 

Every American citizen is entitled to defend themselves when charged with a crime, and if a person cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for them. This is to ensure there’s a balance between the prosecution and the defense, and that the rights of the defendant are preserved. 

The goal of a prosecutor is to have the defendant found guilty of the crime they are accused of and penalized to the fullest extent of the law. In order to maintain a fair trial, a defense lawyer is necessary to verify that the prosecution isn’t violating the rights of the defendant. 

Evidence presented at trial can also impact the severity of your sentencing. If the police have obtained that evidence via unreasonable search and seizure, your defense lawyer can argue that it should be inadmissible. Even if you plead guilty, this strategy can help reduce your overall penalty. 

Charged with a DUI? Call T. Martin Knopes Today 

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, don’t wait to get legal assistance. Whether you think pleading guilty is in your best interest or not, an attorney can help protect your constitutional rights and minimize the impact a DUI charge has on your life. Contact T. Martin Knopes today for a consultation at (850) 683-0700.