Personal Injuries: Basic Knowledge For You

When To Plead Guilty Vs. No Contest

Admission of guilt can be an advantage in legal situations. A criminal defendant who shows remorse and contrition for a crime may receive a lesser penalty than a defendant who hides guilt or refuses to see the fault in their actions. Thus, sometimes it is better to plead guilty than to try to prove innocence. A third option is to plead "no contest." More on this later.

When You Should Consider Pleading Guilty

If you are a guilty of a crime or offense, you may approach a trial as a way of negotiating the least burdensome punishment possible. Thus, deciding whether or not you should plead guilty may hinge on whether you think you can poke enough holes in the prosecution's argument in court to avoid the most extreme punishment or whether you will get a better deal from pleading guilty. For example, if you were responsible for an accident that took someone's life, the prosecution might push for vehicular manslaughter in court, but if you plead guilty, the prosecuting attorney might make a bargain that in return for your admission, they will only charge you with negligent driving. The question, then, is whether you have hope of a more favorable outcome by going to trial or by taking a deal.

When You Should Plead No Contest

If you plead guilty in a criminal case, you might end up with a lesser legal consequence than you otherwise might end up with, but you leave yourself open to a civil suit. Returning to the car accident example from above, if you plead guilty, the family of the person who died in the accident you caused can use your legal admission of guilt to their advantage when bringing a civil case against you. When you plead no contest, you will most likely still face legal consequences of the crime you committed, but legally you never admitted guilt. Thus, if people seek to bring a civil case against you, their job is harder. in other words, pleading no contest gives you a tactical advantage in situations where you might be facing legal and civil trials. 

Just because you are guilty of a crime does not mean that you should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. When lawyers represent guilty clients, their job is to protect the client from getting steamrolled by the legal system. You should, therefore, trust your criminal defense lawyer's suggestions for when to make a plea and what sort of a plea to make. 

About Me

Personal Injuries: Basic Knowledge For You

I have worked as a legal office assistant for about 20 years. The office specializes in personal injury claims, and many clients are looking for settlements. I have great compassion for the individuals I see, and most people are looking for money to pay their bills. Unfortunately, insurance claims are difficult and clients often file the wrong paperwork. They don't see many doctors due to costs, and settlement offers are generally low. I know that lawyers can help to raise claims substantially. They know the law and they can offer advice to clients so good results are seen. I want you to learn some basic information about personal injuries, insurance settlements, and the general claims process. Your rights and needs are important, but it's difficult to secure a settlement if you know nothing about the law. Gain some knowledge today, so your personal injury decisions are the right ones.

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