Pleading Guilty in Florida
Our Experienced Sarasota and Bradenton Defense Lawyers Will Help You With Your Plea
If you have been accused of or charged with a criminal offense, then you may be feeling anxious about what strategic possibilities you have to avoid — or minimize — your potential liability. Though it might not seem obvious, our criminal defense lawyers will tell you that pleading guilty (in some cases) can be an excellent strategy for securing a positive outcome.
The experienced Sarasota and Bradenton defense lawyers here at Fowler Law Group can help. Contact us to learn more.
Should I Plead Guilty to My Florida Arrest?
Opportunity to Enter a Favorable Plea Bargain
Most prosecutions end before they ever get to trial, either through a dismissal of the charges at-hand or through the negotiation of a plea bargain with prosecutors. Plea bargains allow the defendant to “control their own destiny,” to an extent.
Rather than roll the dice with criminal litigation, you can negotiate with prosecutors (with leverage going to the party that has a perceived advantage if the case were to advance to trial litigation) so as to obtain a settlement that both parties are amenable to. If you have a strong case, for example, then you may be able to avoid prison time and secure a short probation with limited probationary conditions.
Avoiding the Time and Expense of Trial Litigation
Trial litigation can be quite expensive and drawn-out, particularly in the criminal defense context where it is common for defendants to appeal unfavorable verdicts. Pleading guilty — if done strategically — can ensure a certain result, and that too a positive one if your attorney negotiates a favorable plea bargain settlement outcome.
Why Would a Defense Lawyer Advise Against a Guilty Plea?
Slowing Down the Proceedings Momentarily
Pleading guilty can accelerate the proceedings (pushing the court towards sentencing) and bring them to a close. As such, it’s important that the defendant “get their ducks in a row,” so to speak, before entering a guilty plea — this may include setting you and your loved one’s up financially for the loss of income during your term of imprisonment (or for the loss of income caused by your alternative punishment, such as probation or a diversionary program). Timing the guilty plea can and should be strategized with your defense attorney.
Consequences of Conviction
Formal conviction for a crime can lead to a number of negative consequences — legal and otherwise. If you have been convicted of a criminal offense, then you may have difficulty obtaining a job due to your criminal record. Further, you may face difficulties in family law proceedings involving child custody.
Perhaps most disconcertingly, society (and more specifically, your local community) may apply various negative stereotypes to you — as a convicted criminal — that could follow you around for the rest of your life. This could not only influence your friends groups, but also your ability to engage with your community at-large. If you believe that you have a “good chance” of avoiding criminal liability at trial, then it may be worth pushing forward with litigation so as to avoid the consequences of conviction.
Guidance by a Defense Attorney
Pleading guilty is not a decision to be made lightly.
Depending on the case at-hand — and the settlement offers proposed by prosecutors — it could lead to a relatively favorable outcome (i.e., entry into a diversionary program and a conviction that does not remain on your criminal record). However, securing a favorable outcome in criminal litigation requires relentless, persuasive advocacy. It is not always a simple and straightforward process.
Lacking the guidance of a competent attorney, a defendant may be lured into entering a plea bargain that strikes against their interests. We encourage clients to contact Fowler Law Group to get connected with our experienced Sarasota and Bradenton defense lawyers today.
Contact Fowler Law Group for Help
If you are being criminally investigated or were arrested for having committed a criminal offense, it’s important that you only proceed through Florida’s justice system with adequate legal representation.
Here at Fowler Law Group, our Bradenton and Sarasota defense lawyers have decades of experience working with a wide range of criminal defense clients, from those who have been accused of theft to those who have been accused of sex crimes. The breadth and depth of our experience has given us significant insight into the challenges that defendants face over the course of criminal litigation, and how we can best serve their interests throughout.
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HAVE YOU RECENTLY FACED LEGAL ISSUES? WE CAN HELP!
Fowler Law Group proudly represents the citizens of Sarasota and Manatee Counties as well as the surrounding Tampa Bay area. Our experienced team will help guide you through the judicial process and answer all of your questions with honesty and integrity. We understand the important nature of your call, and we will strive to return all calls within 24 hours. Contact us today by completing our online form or calling us at 941-404-8909.