Legal Troubles and Outcomes
I get a lot of calls from people facing all sorts of legal troubles. Some people are fighting to defend their names and their lives, having been accused wrongly or charged with major crimes for only minor wrongdoing. If that's you - maybe skip this one, and take a look at other blog posts where I talk about what it takes to get not guilty verdicts and dismissals. But others call me knowing they did something wrong, and wondering if they should just go into court the first day and plead guilty to get it all over with. If you're here asking that question, read on to find out why the answer is no, and why getting a good lawyer can still really help your situation.
Nobody is proud of getting arrested; for many, an arrest is one of the worst moments of their life. Frankly, in many cases, a person arrested did get what they had coming, and they know it - I've represented lots of people who know they walked out of a store with stuff they didn't pay for, or people who had one too many drinks and then got caught doing a California rolling stop on the way home. It stinks, but it happens. Lots of times, people in this situation think they deserve some punishment. But even if you've been caught red-handed, even if you think you have something coming - talk to a lawyer. You may well be facing consequences, but a good lawyer can help you to minimize the consequences and their effect on your life.
In a court case, the question isn't just "guilty or not?" There's a lot of work you can do before you even get to court to reduce the consequences once you do get there. You may qualify for diversion - basically, even if you committed the crime, you may be able to take some steps to "earn" a dismissal. You may be able to negotiate a settlement for a lesser crime than what you're charged with, or for an automatic expungement a little ways down the road. You may be facing jail time, but with the right work and the right help that might become community service or house arrest instead. If you get a DUI or other driving-related crime, contacting a lawyer quickly may also help you avoid, minimize, or delay license suspensions and insurance rate increases.
I can point to a number of cases in just the past few months where people were able to get great results with my help.* A client who was caught red handed shoplifting ended up paying a small fine and having his misdemeanor charges dismissed. A couple of other clients who made foolish mistakes and stole on a higher level have now had their convictions expunged. A client was charged with assault and facing major prison time for getting into a fight; he knew he should never have fought in the first place, but he was not the only one to blame, and he ended up getting a far reduced sentence that was much more in line with what happened. In about the past year, at least half a dozen clients charged with DUI got lesser charges or lesser license suspensions than they might have if they had just rolled over.
Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes, those mistakes land you in hot water with the law, and you have to pay the price. But if you did make a mistake, give me a call. I'll give you a free consultation to tell you what you can do to help pull yourself up, and how with my help you might be able to get yourself in the best position not only to minimize the consequences, but also in many cases to keep your job and help your family.
*All cases are different, and while I have a strong track record, I cannot guarantee results in any individual case.