You just slipped up. Worst of all, you got caught. You spent hours in a police station before being released with orders to reappear in court for a formal arraignment. At your arraignment, the judge asks you “How do you plead? Guilty or Not Guilty?”
If you’re like too many individuals unfamiliar with the criminal justice system you assume there’s no defense to your case and you might as well plead guilty and get it over with. Perhaps you figure that by just accepting responsibility and apologizing for your actions, the judge and prosecutor will go easy on you. Maybe you think the charge is relatively minor and the consequences won’t be that bad. Maybe you even think that because the police caught you “red handed” there is no way even an attorney could save you! Or maybe you just don’t think it’s worth the money to hire an attorney.
The fact is, you’re wrong. This is easily the biggest mistake any individual who has been charged with a crime can make. Criminal charges, however “minor,” can have a permanent detrimental effect on your life. A criminal defense attorney can evaluate the particular facts and circumstances of your case and determine a course of action to relieve you of the charges, lessen any potential consequences or both. Your attorney can describe the potential penalties and aid you in making an informed decision on how to proceed with your defense.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, do yourself a favor. Meet with an attorney and take control of your own future; don’t leave it up to a judge and prosecutor.