I’m guilty, should I still hire a lawyer?
There are a lot of bad ideas in the world. One the worst is going to court alone on a criminal case. One reason people don’t hire lawyers is that they think they are guilty, and it won’t make a difference if they have a lawyer or not.
Here’s the thing, you can be 1000% did-it-on-camera-and-confessed super guilty and it’s still a good idea to hire a lawyer.
Let’s talk about what guilty means first of all. Being guilty means that the fact finder in your criminal case has found you guilty. You can think you “did it” but until you are found guilty, you aren’t guilty. What’s between you and being found guilty is litigation, due process, criminal prosecution, litigation. That’s where the defense lawyer can help you.
Let’s pretend you did what you are charged with. Who cares? Can the State prove you did it? Are there witnesses? Are they credible? Was the search legal? Was there a warrant? Is the officer credible?
Those are just SOME of the issues your lawyer can litigate to help you.
Ranges of punishment in Texas are vast. Let’s take a State Jail Felony, the punishment range is up to 2 years in prison, or it could be reduced to a misdemeanor for time served. The difference in life between being a convicted felon and not a convicted felon, is huge.
A good lawyer can help you negotiate a sentence that is better than any pro se defendant. This is also where local knowledge matters. Knowing what matters to a prosecutor, and how to get a good deal, is always worth paying for.
For example, some prosecutors will lie about making “final offers”. They do this to make defendants plea early, and avoid trial settings. However, if you have an experienced local defense lawyer, they will know which prosecutors have a history of bluffing, and if you don’t have a lawyer, you will end up with a much worse plea deal.
We don’t care if you are guilty, so don’t lie to us. Really, I get it. No one likes to admit to breaking the law. But if you tell your lawyer you are innocent and have been framed, she will waste your time and money on the wrong ideas, on things that won’t help you. Defendants think that if their lawyer knows they are guilty we won’t fight for them. I get that. But cases have a limited amount of time before they are set for trial, and if your lawyer is chasing down ghosts instead of working on things that might actually work, it’s the defendant who will suffer.
If you are facing a criminal case in Kaufman, Dallas, Collin, or Rockwall County we are the firm you need. Call Guest and Gray for a free consultation today! We have a team of local defense lawyers with the resources and experience to fight for you.