If you’ve been accused of a crime, you want to know you’ll be well represented and get the best possible outcome. A top criminal lawyer in Vancouver, who knows the justice system inside out, will advocate for you and present a solid defence, giving you confidence and peace of mind.
However, what if your criminal lawyer says it is in your best interests to plead guilty? As it may be one of the most significant decisions you will ever make, it requires careful consideration.
Incidentally, guilty pleas can prove advantageous, depending on the situation. Pleading guilty can help you:
Resolve the case quickly
The sooner a case wraps up, the sooner you can plan your path forward. When you plead guilty, you confront your case head-on, whereas taking the opposite approach prolongs the situation and can come with lengthy wait times during the trial.
Stay within a limited budget
If you have reason to expect a guilty verdict, then it may be a good idea to save the money of going to trial. The trial process necessitates significantly more effort on your lawyer’s part, which can quickly rack up the expenses.
Avoid uncertainty and media attention
Another advantage to pleading guilty is not dealing with the unpredictable nature of trials. What if the prosecution uncovers additional evidence, making it more likely for a jury to convict you? What will witnesses say?
Furthermore, depending on the nature of the crime and who is involved, your trial may attract media attention. Are you prepared to deal with the unwanted publicity, harm to your reputation and the “court of public opinion”?
Pleading guilty makes it possible for you to officially accept blame and express remorse, potentially saving the various parties involved from additional emotional hardship and strife.
Avoid a Jury conviction
It may be wise to plead guilty if the evidence against you is insurmountable, and there’s a strong chance that you will be found guilty after a trial. By doing so, you’ll enter a plea bargain that may be considered a win-win for most – or all – of the parties involved. In addition, it means shorter proceedings and a lower workload for the courts and the criminal justice system. In exchange, the prosecutor and your criminal lawyer may reach an agreement resulting in a lighter sentence or reduced charges.
Qualify for a diversion program
The law provides defendants with some measure of leeway by way of diversion or alternative measures. Your case may be eligible if:
- the charge against you is minor
- you have no criminal history
- you accept responsibility
- you regret what you’ve done
The court will not sentence you if you are granted a diversion. However, you must report to a probation office for an alternative to your punishment, such as completing community service work or enrolling in counselling sessions. You will not get a criminal record once you’ve satisfactorily completed the diversion program set out for you.
Criminal charges can be overwhelming, especially if you’re unclear about the process. If you are considering pleading guilty to an offence and need advice from an experienced criminal lawyer in Vancouver, contact us at the law office of Tom Doust. Tom Doust is a Vancouver criminal lawyer with more than 20 years of experience handling criminal law cases. He will prepare a strong defence, guide you through the procedure and help you achieve the best outcome possible.