The answer to that question is – it depends. Pleading no contest or guilty is can lead to a criminal conviction, which can have severe, life-altering consequences. While you should always confer with an experienced criminal defense attorney, the final decision on whether to accept or reject a plea offer belongs to you – not your attorney or your family or friends. Here are some of the factors you should consider, in consultation with your attorney, in making your decision:
- The charges;
- the evidence against you;
- the possible sentence you could face if you go to trial and lose;
- whether the plea will allow you to get your charges sealed after the case is over;
- immigration consequences;
- your tolerance for taking risks;
- the collateral consequences such as losing the ability to vote or own a gun.
Taking a plea is truly a personal decision and should be made with the help of competent counsel.
Houson R. Lafrance PA