Should I cave to pressure to plead guilty and avoid trial?

QUESTION:

I got charged with shoplifting at the local department store. My public defender says the evidence against me is strong and that I should plead guilty. I want to go trial. Don't I have any say here?

ANSWER:

One very useful service a public defender -- or private criminal defense lawyer, for that matter -- can provide is a reality check: a knowledgeable, objective perspective on what is likely to happen should your case go to trial.

This dose of reality is vital when you're trying to decide whether to accept a prosecutor's offered "plea bargain." Usually the prosecutor offers a reduced or waived punishment in return for your guilty plea. Your public defender may see this as a tempting deal compared to going to trial and risking full-scale punishment if you're found guilty.

But notice that we said when you are trying to decide whether to take the prosecutor's offer. The decision whether to go to trial is yours and yours alone.

© 2009 Nolo

Contact Us

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.
*
*
*
injurys superlawyers leadinglawyers avvorating dcba nationalcollege avvoclientschoice avpeerreviewrated dialdui

1717 North Naperville Road,
Suite 200, Naperville, IL 60563

630-256-8001
 

Get Directions

1813 Hicks Road, Suite B,
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

847-465-8743
By Appointment Only

Get Directions

128 South County Farm Road,
3rd Floor, Wheaton, IL 60187

630-665-8780
By Appointment Only

Get Directions

Arcada Theater Building- 2nd Floor. 12 S. Riverside, Suite 2-I
St. Charles, IL 60174

630-786-6062
By Appointment Only

Get Directions

Free case evaluation

ACCUSED? ARRESTED?

Call 630-256-8001

Play