Do I Have to Plead Guilty to My Charges? | O'Keeffe O'Brien Lyson Attorneys

Do I Have to Plead Guilty to My Charges?

The decision to accept or reject a plea bargain belongs to you, the defendant, alone. You may be thinking about pleading guilty to the criminal charges you are facing, especially if you assume that a conviction is inevitable. However, you should never plead guilty to any charges – even minor ones – without first speaking to a Fargo criminal defense lawyer. 

Some clients believe that if they plead guilty, they will be able to get their charges reduced. Other clients believe that pleading guilty will help them have other charges they are facing dropped. Many clients are afraid of pleading not guilty, as that might mean going to trial, and they think it is better to cooperate with the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case. However, pleading guilty without defense representation can result results in harsher penalties. 

Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you avoid many mistakes in criminal cases. The lawyers at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys can help you achieve a better outcome by protecting your constitutional rights. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation during which we can advise you on how best to proceed in your criminal case. 

You Can Plead Guilty, Not Guilty, or Nolo Contendere 

Criminal defendants can typically choose three options when they state their pleas to the court – plead guilty, not guilty, or Alford plea. Alford plea is a plea in which a defendant does not admit guilt but accepts the conviction. 

A client has the right to choose how to plead to any criminal offense. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to assess the facts of your case, apply the relevant law to those facts, and advise you on how best to proceed. 

During a criminal case, a criminal defendant will either have his or her charges dismissed, enter a plea bargain with the assistant states attorney, or go to trial. Uninformed clients who do not understand the complexities of the U.S. legal system do not always know the course of action to take. 

In some cases, it may be advisable to plead guilty, while in other cases, it may be better for the defendant if he or she pleads not guilty or Alford plea. This often depends on the type of plea bargain that a defense attorney is able to obtain from the prosecutor. The right attorney will know how to negotiate to get charges and/or penalties reduced in exchange for a guilty plea whenever possible. 

Contact a Fargo Criminal Defense Attorney Today 

The lawyers at our firm can help you defend against charges in your criminal case. Our legal team can advise you on how you should plead, as well as any additional options. The facts of your case and how the law relates to those facts will determine the course of action that will be in your best interest. Contact criminal defense attorney, Tatum O’Brien, by email, or call O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys at 701-235-8000 or toll-free 877-235-8002.