Do I need an attorney in court if I know I am pleading guilty?
Burleson, TX |
Recently I was charged with a P.O.M. < 2oz. and I have a court date coming up soon and I plan on pleading guilty because there is no way around the fact that I am guilty. Should I hire an attorney at all?
Yes. You need an attorney. There are serious consequence associated with pleading guilty to a drug charge that you may not be aware of. Pleading guilty to possession of marijuana can effect your employment in the future, getting an apartment or other housing, your drivers license (can be suspended), it can prevent you from obtaining financial assistance if you are in a low income family, etc. The lawyer will also be able to help you with defenses to prosecution or obtaining probation or some type of pre-trial diversion if it is available.
The information provided is not advice but a legal perspective and you should schedule a consultation with the lawyer of your choice.
If you plead guilty to a drug charge you will have consequences regarding your license, job restrictions and living restrictions. An attorney may be able to get you a better deal or at a minimum a deferred prosecution which can keep the case off your record. Many attorneys offer free consultations. Shop around and find yourself an attorney to protect your rights.
Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship. Legal advice has not been given. Also, this question and answer is posted on a public forum and therefore any attorney-privilege is waived.
I guess if you just want to walk in and take whatever the DA offers you don't. He will not tell you any of the ramifications (such as a driver's license suspension if you take a conviction). He will not tell you if you qualify for a pretrial diversion program that gets you a dismissal no matter how guilty you are. So I would probably hire an attorney, yes.
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The point of having an attorney is to see to it that your LEGAL rights are protected.
As I have told clients for many years, the job of the defense lawyer is to get the defendant off IF there is a way within the law to do that, and if not to get the the defendant the LEAST POSSIBLE PENALTY under the circumstances.
That is not the job of the prosecutor. The prosecutor's job is to seek justice. And, justice may not be the least possible punishment or dismissal from the prosecutor's point of view.
You almost certainly are not familiar with the law that applies to your situation. How then do you know if a mistake was made that would possibly lead to dismissal or a reduced punishment? You almost certainly don't.
So, get a lawyer. If you can't afford one, ask for a court appointed lawyer.
Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.