Being arrested and facing criminal charges is frightening. You may be confused about your next steps and whether to fight back and defend yourself or enter a guilty plea in hopes of a lighter sentence and a quick resolution to your ordeal.
However, it is important to understand that before you enter a guilty plea, you are making a decision that can have a profound and lasting impact 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.
Accepting a Guilty Plea Comes With Consequences
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. For example, you may be prohibited from travelling to other countries. You may also be deprived 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.
Pleading guilty may also affect your ability to lawfully stay in the country and your citizenship status. Furthermore, if you are charged with another crime at some point in the future, your guilty plea may make the penalties for the latter offence even more severe.
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.
A Skilled Criminal Defence Lawyer Can Help You Fight Back
Remember, even if you believe you may have a “weak” defence, 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.
At Engel & Associates, We Will Fight To Protect Your Rights
An arrest not only brings fear and confusion, but it can also come with tough consequences. Our lawyers are not here to judge you. We are here to put you at ease and guide you through the process as smoothly as possible. We are here to protect and fight for your rights, your freedom, and your future.
With more than 20 years of experience, Bruce Engel and Elena Davies have defended many high-profile cases at various levels of court in Ottawa and throughout Ontario. They always keep their clients best interests in mind, and they understand the benefits – and the risks – associated with entering a guilty plea. Whether this is the first time you have been arrested or you have prior offences on your record, we will stand up for your rights when your liberty and your future are at stake.
Please do not hesitate to call our Ottawa office 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (613) 235-6324 to find out about our practice and how our lawyers can assist in your criminal defence.
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.