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Consequences Of Pleading Guilty

Interviewer: Do you have clients that say to you, "I can't take it anymore. I just want to get this over with and I just want to plead guilty." Is that a wise choice? What would you tell them if they say that to you?

David: That's an interesting question. I had a client recently who was accused of violating her bail conditions and was arrested. When you are accused of violating your bail conditions, you spend the night in jail until you appear in front of a judge the next business day.

Unfortunately, she got arrested on a Friday night so she spent three days in jail. There is a tremendous amount of leverage that the prosecutor has Monday morning when they say, "If your client pleads guilty to all of the charges including the new charge, we'll let her out of jail."

That is a scenario where occasionally clients will say, "No, no. I'll end it right now just get it over with."

Any Conviction Can Severely Impact Your Employment Options

That is a situation where I have to remind the client of the fact that spent a number of years working in the insurance field and being convicted of those three misdemeanors is going to render them a member of the economic underclass for the foreseeable future.

Maybe we ought to think a little more about this and let's go forward and see if the judge will let you back out on bail again before making the decision to plead guilty.

I've encountered that before and I basically remind them as to what the court system can do when their defense positions are presented to a judge or a jury and how. If they wanted to just get it over with they could plead guilty at arraignment without me even being there.

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David Horan, Attorney at Law
212 Coolidge Avenue
Manchester, NH 03102
Phone: 603-483-3417
Toll Free: 800-737-3809
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