When you plead guilty, you’re in a position where the judge is going to sentence you. Fortunately, if you’re going to agree to plead guilty in a San Fernando Valley Court, you already know what the sentence is going to be. There are rare cases where you plead guilty and your sentence is put inside of a range.
For example, let’s say that you get what they call a county jail lid. That means the judge could give you anywhere from no time in jail up to a year in jail. You’ll want to have your defense attorney submit a sentencing memorandum and make the argument that you shouldn’t get any jail time.
If there’s a disadvantage, it has to do with you giving up all your rights. If you’re going to end up with a conviction of a felony, you’ll no longer be able to vote and you won’t be able to use or possess weapons. There are a number of other things that you’ll have to give up, but they’ll all be terms and conditions of your probation, if you get a probationary sentence.
It’s very important that, if you are going to take a deal, you sit down with your attorney and find out exactly what the ramifications are going to be. In the future, if you violate your probation, the judge can punish you with up to the maximum for whatever sentence it is that you pled guilty or no contest to.
Should I Plead Guilty If I Have Committed The Crime?
The problem with just going in and pleading guilty is you’re going to lose control of what your sentence is going to be and you may not be able to bring forward some of the mitigating factors that you want the prosecutor and judge to consider before you are sentenced.
Most times, there’s a wide range of what the sentence can be. Even if you’re guilty, you want to do everything you can to make sure, when you plead guilty or no contest in the case, you’re in a position to get the lowest sentence. You may want to get lesser charges. You may want to avoid jail time.
There are a whole host of things that could potentially happen to you if you plead guilty or no contest in any criminal case, so before you make the decision to move forward with a plea, you want to fully discuss it with your attorney. Bring forward all the mitigating factors, get character letters, and do everything you can to make sure that whatever your final resolution is, it’s something that you can live with.
Does Pleading Guilty Exclude Me From Getting Appellate Relief?
Typically, once you plead guilty, you’re not going to be able to appeal any sentence that you get. Most of the time, when someone pleads guilty or no contest, they already know what the sentence is going to be. It’s very difficult to make the argument that you were caught by surprise by the sentence, you don’t think it’s fair, and you want to appeal it.
There are exceptions. Sometimes, the person doesn’t understand English fully. They don’t use an interpreter and take a plea without understanding all the ramifications. They get deported, lose a bunch of rights, and now they’re in a position where they need to try to withdraw their plea.
Most of the time, however, once you plead, you’re not going to be able to appeal your sentence. A lot of time, prosecutors make people take appellate waivers, where they’re not allowed to appeal their sentence, even if they want to.
What Are Some Alternatives To Pleading Guilty In My Criminal Case?
If you’re innocent and you don’t want to plead guilty, then you can take your case to trial. Your attorney can file a motion, if it’s applicable to your case, to try to get all the evidence suppressed.
It depends on what the circumstances are and what evidence they have against you. Your option is to fight by way of motions and by way of a jury trial. If the government has a weak case against you, then you’re going to have a good chance to win.
This is something you need to sit down with your attorney and discuss. You can plead no contest instead of guilty and the court will find you guilty, but they can’t use your no contest plea against you civilly, if that’s applicable to your case.
For more information on Disadvantages Of Pleading Guilty, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0940 today.