Do I need a lawyer if I’m pleading guilty?

Even for a defendant who intends to plead guilty, an aggressive, savvy defense lawyer can negotiate for reduced charges and persuade a judge to order a more lenient sentence.

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Are you wondering whether to hire a lawyer if you intend to plead guilty or no contest?

Clients regularly ask if hiring a lawyer is necessary even if they plan to plead guilty to their crime in a court of law. Many people figure that hiring a reputable attorney is not worth the expense unless they plead “not guilty.” This reasoning is seriously flawed. Regardless of your plea, we recommend hiring an aggressive, reputable legal team for several reasons. A great lawyer can turn the tables to your advantage in several ways, even if you plan to plead guilty. In fact, a savvy defense lawyer might be able to negotiate a plea bargain that avoids a conviction, jail time, and lengthy probation.

A Conviction and Jail May be Avoidable

Navigating the legal system when charged with a crime is intimidating and confusing. Having worked with thousands of clients in the same situation, an experienced lawyer will help you understand the implications of your charge and the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Additionally, they can help you understand whether pleading guilty is in your best interest and explore what plea and sentence agreements may be available to you. Well-versed in negotiation, an attorney can fight for less severe punishment if you know you plan to plead guilty.

Without a seasoned attorney, you will most likely be overrun by a prosecutor in the position to push for an unnecessarily harsh sentencing or an avoidable conviction. In the case of an OWI/DUI or retail fraud charge, hiring an attorney could make the difference between spending time in jail and being required to do some community service. Hiring an attorney is well worth it since they know the range of punishments and penalties for your crimes and the strategies to avoid them. Most importantly, even when a client is “guilty,” a great lawyer can negotiate a plea that doesn’t result in a conviction.

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“If I plan to plead guilty anyway, what are the top 10 reasons I should still hire an experienced criminal defense attorney?”

Even if someone intends to plead guilty or no contest, a skilled criminal defense lawyer can dramatically improve their situation, the outcome, and the long-term consequences. Here are some advantages to investing in a criminal defense law firm, such as LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., to assist with achieving the best possible plea-based resolution:

  • Collective Negotiation Power: As a team, we have consistently secured exceptional plea deals for our clients. Our collective negotiation skills allow us to effectively communicate with judges and prosecutors, ensuring minimized charges and sentences.
  • Team Examination of Evidence: Our collaborative approach means we bring multiple perspectives to scrutinize the prosecution’s evidence. This tactic enhances the negotiating power of your defense as we leave no stone unturned in challenging the validity and legality of the evidence.
  • Collaborative Sentencing Advocacy: When it comes to sentencing advocacy, we pool our diverse skills and experience to argue for the most lenient sentence possible. Each member contributes their unique perspective to create a robust defense strategy.
  • Protection of Your Rights: Our team is unwavering in safeguarding your rights. We meticulously investigate the legality of law enforcement procedures, ensuring any error or misconduct is highlighted and used to your advantage.
  • Comprehensive Understanding of Legal Procedures: Our combined wealth of experience enables us to navigate complex legal procedures easily. We collectively guide you through each step, ensuring you understand your rights and options.
  • Familiarity with Local Court Systems: As a team, we have extensive knowledge of the local court systems. This insight allows us to anticipate the prosecution’s moves and develop a comprehensive defense strategy.
  • Emotional Support & Reassurance: Legal proceedings can be challenging. With our team at your side, you have a support network that provides emotional guidance and expert legal advice.
  • Managing Personal Consequences: We understand a conviction’s potential personal and professional ramifications. Our team will work together to advise you on the best strategies to mitigate these impacts.
  • Future Legal Relief: Our commitment to you extends beyond the courtroom. Post-conviction, we collaborate to seek potential avenues for legal relief, from expungements to reduced sentences.
  • Preserving Your Reputation: We’re dedicated to maintaining your dignity and reputation throughout the process. Each member of our team, including lawyers, paralegals, experts, and investigators, contributes their expertise to ensure a minimal impact on your future, even if you are pleading guilty.

In engaging our Defense Team, you aren’t just hiring attorneys—you’re enlisting a collaborative and dedicated force committed to securing the best possible outcome for you, regardless of your plea.

“If I’m guilty, can a lawyer get charges dismissed or help me avoid a conviction?”

Even when someone decides to plead guilty, an experienced lawyer can utilize numerous legal strategies to get charges dismissed or avoid a conviction. Firstly, it’s crucial to remember that guilt or innocence is often more complex than it may appear. In the legal system, guilt needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and it’s a defense attorney’s job to challenge the prosecution’s case at every opportunity to achieve an improved outcome and reduce direct and collateral consequences. For example, our team meticulously scrutinizes the evidence, ensuring it was obtained legally and is robust enough to support the charges. If any procedural errors or questionable tactics were used in acquiring evidence, we could file motions to suppress the evidence, sometimes leading to a dismissal of charges.

Even if the evidence seems strong, the attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have an unparalleled track record of negotiating extraordinary plea and sentence deals. Plea bargaining can often lead to dismissed or reduced charges or a lesser sentence. In some cases, pretrial diversion programs or under-advisement pleas might be negotiated, where you could avoid a formal conviction by meeting certain conditions or participating in specific programs. Moreover, our firm is highly experienced in the intricacies of the law and can explore various legal defenses that might apply to your case. For example, there might be grounds to argue a lack of intent, mistaken identity, duress, or even self-defense, depending on the specifics of your situation.

Lastly, it’s also possible that mitigating circumstances could be presented to the prosecutor or judge to humanize you and portray the incident in a broader context. There are always two sides to every story, but without a skilled lawyer, no one will be able to share your perspective persuasively. These efforts can impact the court’s decisions at various stages, from initial charges to sentencing.

Remember, our primary objective is to help you navigate this complex process and secure the best possible outcome. Even if you plead guilty, our defense lawyers have the experience and skills to significantly impact the outcome.

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An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

Attorneys provide emotional support for a client charged with a felony or misdemeanor. Going through charges in court is frightening and stressful for most people. In many cases, a conviction and jail time can be avoided with the help of a seasoned, successful defense attorney. Whether this is your first or third offense, we do not recommend going through the legal process with an attorney who is not a retained lawyer who practices exclusively criminal defense. Prospective clients routinely ask our team, “Do I need a lawyer if I’m pleading guilty?” Top defense attorneys can achieve extraordinary results if your case goes to trial or resolves with a plea. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. provide top-quality, judgment-free, and effective representation for clients in Michigan’s state and federal courts.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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