SHOULD I STILL HIRE AN ATTORNEY
IF I THINK I’M GUILTY?
No matter what crime you may or may not have committed, you have the right to an attorney. It’s important to understand that hiring an attorney is in no way an admission of guilt. In fact, hiring the right attorney can be the difference between a harsh sentence or freedom. Despite this right, there is often undue pressure against requesting an attorney out of fear that the authorities may think you have something to hide. In reality, not hiring an attorney makes you an easy target for manipulation and exploitation.
Tom Cox knows how important effective representation is. As a former prosecutor, he has extensive experience serving individuals facing criminal charges in Dallas, Texas, and the neighboring areas of Irving, Mesquite, Grand Prairie, Highland Park, University Park, and Dallas County. If you’ve been charged with a crime and are facing trial, you want to obtain the best defense representation available. The Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III can evaluate your unique situation and enlighten you about your legal options.
POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF A GUILTY PLEA
Pleading guilty to a crime carries several consequences. First and foremost, it means that jail time is likely. While that is not the ideal outcome, there are several other possible outcomes that may occur when a guilty plea is entered, including:
Suspension or loss of a driver’s license
Loss of a professional license
Lost earnings or employment opportunities
Inability to carry a firearm
Loss of voting rights
Loss of visitation or custody of minor children
Loss of public housing options
REASONS TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY
Simply put, hiring an attorney when facing criminal charges puts you in the best possible position to defend yourself. Among other things, your attorney has an ethical duty to help you:
Understand the charges you are facing
Know what will happen if you plead guilty
Understand the strengths and weaknesses of the case against you
Make the decision to enter a guilty plea freely, knowingly, and voluntarily
Aside from those duties, an effective criminal defense attorney will provide you with the following services:
Burden of proof: An attorney should be able to more effectively challenge the evidence presented against you in court. If the prosecutor is unable to provide evidence that proves your guilt, the charges against you may be dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense regardless of whether you are guilty or not.
Evaluate your case: Once your attorney has investigated the criminal charges against you and your defenses, they should be able to outline for you the possible outcomes of your case. Using this information, they will then be able to help you make informed informed decisions about your defense strategy and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of taking your case to trial or entering into a plea agreement.
Negotiate a plea deal: If it is decided that entering into a plea agreement is in your best interest, your attorney may be able to leverage their relationship with the prosecution to get you a more favorable plea bargain. He or she should be able to use the results of their investigation and knowledge of the law to persuade the prosecutor to reduce the charges against you or reduce your sentence.
Seek alternatives to jail: Your attorney may be able to help you obtain a sentencing program that avoids jail time. For example, he or she may arrange for you to enter a drug or alcohol treatment program or to perform community service rather than serve time in jail.
YOUR DUTIES AS A CLIENT
As a client of a criminal defense attorney, you are not expected to know any of the nuances of the law. Still, you do have some responsibilities when it comes to your case.
First and foremost, communication is key. If you do not understand something, ask your attorney for clarification. You need to communicate your questions, concerns, and goals with your attorney. The only way for your criminal defense attorney to know that you have a question or concern is if you present it to them.
The other obvious duty is to be truthful. Criminal defense attorneys need to have all the details of what occurred in order to build a strategic defense strategy. Their level of commitment to strong representation won’t hinge on whether or not they believe the client has committed a crime.
HIRE AN EXPERIENCED DALLAS, TEXAS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Whether you believe you are guilty or not, you are entitled to a fair trial and an attorney who will represent your interests. If you are charged with or accused of committing a crime, call the Law Offices of Thomas R. Cox III to defend your rights. Schedule a simple case evaluation with an experienced criminal defense attorney today.