Far too often, when people are charged with committing a crime, they are in too much of a hurry to “get it over with.” Many people mistakenly believe that if they go to the Court and plead guilty, that the case will “be over” and “go away.” They never pause to think what does pleading guilty mean?
If they did pause to consider, or if they had talked with a criminal defense lawyer about what does pleading guilty mean? They would have learned that pleading guilty means that you admit to committing the crime as charged, and that you are convicted of that crime. Upon conviction, there can be serious collateral consequences above and beyond any fines or jail time imposed by the Court. Some of these collateral consequences can include:
- Permanent Criminal Record
- Suspension or Revocation of your driver’s license
- Disqualification for certain benefits/ assistance programs
- Losing your job/ difficulty in landing a new job
- Losing your professional license
In short, pleading guilty has long term consequences that you might not consider when you are first charged and thinking that you want to “get it over with” as soon as possible. Far too often, I get calls from clients who pled guilty for the wrong reasons and ended up experiencing some of these negative collateral consequences that they did not expect, and that they did not want. These clients often are regretting pleading guilty and looking to have the charges expunged. Unfortunately, in Maine, all criminal convictions are permanent. A very select few situations may qualify for a governor’s pardon. It is just best to fight the charges before pleading guilty.
Therefore, whenever you are facing criminal charges, the first thing you should do is contact a criminal defense lawyer for a legal consultation to learn more about your case and how you can protect your future. In the legal consultation, you can get your answer to the question – What does Pleading Guilty Mean for your specific charges and situation?
What about pleading guilty in a plea deal?
I always recommend to clients that they should plead guilty only under the advice of a criminal defense lawyer so that you know completely what pleading guilty will mean for you. When I am talking about “pleading guilty under the advice of counsel,” I am referring to the type of plea arrangement that would be worked out with the District Attorney that your criminal defense lawyer has determined is appropriate for you, and is one that you are comfortable with making.
Aside from a lawyer-arranged plea deal, my advice is to never plead guilty.
Our committed legal team is determined to take immediate action to seek a positive case outcome. If you or someone you know is charged with a crime in Maine, I encourage you to contact The Nielsen Group for your free legal consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. We will take the time to answer your questions and to put your mind at ease as we work with you to determine a defense strategy.
It is well worth your time to check out:
If you would like to call us now at (207) 571-8555, we can begin to develop your case strategy.
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