It may be tempting after an arrest to enter a guilty plea in hopes of a lighter sentence and a quick resolution to your ordeal. You want to move on with your life, maybe avoid paying some legal fees, and think that entering a plea is the answer to your current legal problems.
However, a guilty plea may lead to more problems than the ones you are facing now. Make no mistake, pleading guilty will result in a criminal conviction, and a conviction can have a profound and lasting effect on your future. While you may be able to leave the courthouse after a guilty plea, you may not be able to leave behind the impact of your choice.
Consequences of Accepting a Guilty Plea
If you plead guilty to an offence, this means that you might have a criminal record and may have to serve a jail sentence. Having a criminal record can substantially interfere with your freedom in several significant ways, including:
- Limiting or prohibiting your ability to travel to other countries.
- Depriving you of certain employment opportunities and the chance to make a living in your desired occupation. Many jobs require you reveal whether you have ever been found guilty of a criminal offence. If you plead guilty, you may have to answer “yes” to such questions.
- Affecting your ability to lawfully stay in the country and your citizenship status.
- Increasing the penalties you will face if you are charged with another crime at some point in the future.
Because pleading guilty has several profound effects on a person’s life, it is critical to consult with an experienced criminal defence lawyer who can provide you strategic advice concerning how to achieve the best possible resolution to your matter before entering a guilty plea.
There May Be a Better Way Out. A Defence Lawyer Can Help.
Things may look bleak to you, and your belief that you have little or no chance of mounting a successful defence may be one of the factors leading you to consider pleading guilty. However, a skilled criminal defence lawyer may see things differently and can use their skill and experience to develop a defence strategy that may result in a more favourable result than simply entering a guilty plea at the outset of your case. By providing a vigorous defence and pointing out weaknesses in the Crown’s case, it may be possible get the charges reduced or dismissed, helping you avoid a criminal record and potential jail time or other penalties altogether.
Since 1996, the law firm of Mitch Engel, Barrister & Solicitor has been providing clients throughout the Toronto, Oshawa, Brampton, and Mississauga areas with top-level criminal defence representation. Mitch Engel understands what acceptable police conduct is and will fight to protect you against actions that violate your rights. With an exclusive focus on criminal defence, he has keen insight into successful defence strategies and is passionate about helping his clients achieve the best possible resolution to their matters. Call Mitch Engel at (866) 761-7077 to get the legal advice you need to reclaim your life.
The materials provided on this site are for information purposes only. These materials constitute general information relating to areas of law familiar to our firm lawyers. They do NOT constitute legal advice or other professional advice and you may not rely on the contents of this website as such.