5 Tips To Look Into Before Entering A Responsible Plea
Pleading guilty at the last minute is better than going to court and being convicted. However, if the defendant enters a plea early on, the court attaches more significance to it. In some cases, the court may offer a reduced sentence, because they believe that the defendant’s early plea demonstrates their remorse for the offense. According to available statistics, an early plea can result in a sentence reduction of up to 30%.
Don’t Offer Excuses
There’s a very fine line between explaining the crime and making an excuse for it, and defendants must clearly admit that they’ve done wrong. If a victim has been affected, the client should put themselves in that person’s place. The courts want to know that defendants understand their actions’ consequences and that they’re accepting responsibility for the offense.
Have Character References
It may help to have references from long-time acquaintances or employers. If a defendant wants to show how they’ve changed since the crime, these character references can document changes in behavior. A character reference should refer to the crime in question; if they provide general recommendations, it likely won’t help.
Know What is Possible
Clients and their attorneys should review the charges and consider possible penalties. Some offenses have mandatory minimum penalties, and in these instances, it makes no sense to go into court and ask the judge to impose a lesser sentence. An attorney can help a client consider all possible outcomes before going to trial.
Know the Courts
Effective attorneys appear in court on a regular basis, and they know the judges whom a defendant may appear before. This knowledge is crucial because each judge has certain preferences and they put more weight on some factors than on others.
These are just some tips on achieving the best possible outcome from a guilty plea. Before heading to court, visit WKLaw.com for details or call Wallin & Klarich to schedule a no-obligation consultation.