Entering a Guilty Plea
Those who are charged in a federal court have the option of fighting the charges. They also have the option of deciding on a guilty plea. Many factors can go into a guilty plea. The person may be scared. They may have been informed there is overwhelming evidence against them. A person may be depressed. They can also be pressed to agree to this agreement by others who may have interests that are not in accordance with their own. A person can also be pressured by law enforcement officials into believing they have no other choice. While it may look like a guilty plea cannot be taken back, it is possible to do so. All those who are planning this course of action should understand what is involved as well as any possible consequences that may come up.
It’s important to know that you might not be able to withdraw a guilty plea. If you have already been sentenced, you might not be able to tell the courts you would like to enter a plea of innocence because you dislike the sentence you were given. However, you might plead guilty and, in turn, expect to receive a certain sentence. For example, you agreed to a guilty plea for possession and expect a year’s sentence. If the judge makes it clear they wish to give you a longer sentence, you have the right to turn around and say this is not your wish. In that case, it’s best to let your lawyer know any deal is off the table.
At the same time, you should also think about if this is in your best interest. When you decide to withdraw that plea, you are making the specific choice to go ahead within the confines of the court system and see if you can convince officials that you are not guilty as charged. Many defendants chose to engage in a process known as plea bargaining. During this process, your lawyer and government officials may discus many possible outcomes. The prosecutor may show you that they have evidence against you hat might be used against you if you decide to take the case forward. A prosecutor may also point out that you have a history of prior criminal activity. This can be seen as a negative even if you are not guilty of this particular crime. All such factors can influence your decision to enter a plea in the federal courts system.
In certain circumstances, it makes perfect sense to withdraw the guilty plea. At heart, if you are totally innocent of all charges, the last thing you want to do is plead guilty of a crime you did not do. You want to fight for justice if there’s a reasonable chance of a good outcome. A conviction in a federal court will have a serious impact on the rest of your life. You will probably face at least some prison time as well as a potential fine. You might be refused a professional license that you need to earn a living such as a state nursing license or the one you have right now might be revoked.
If you choose this course of action, make sure that you have the right legal counsel. The choice to move forward with a plea of innocence will mean new hurdles you might have to face. You could be moving past a plea deal that would have given you less jail time. They can help you decide if the evidence is on your side and how to make best use of it. If you’ve switched legal counsel, the new counsel can you see any evidence that might be used to help you get the results you want.