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Should I Still Hire an Attorney if I Think I’m Guilty? 

Law Office of Joshua S. Reed  Aug. 30, 2023

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, violent crime has increased over the past three years which means more and more individuals are at risk for the consequences associated with a conviction. However, just because you’re accused of a crime, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be convicted. This is essential to understand. 

For example, there were 38,570 reported cases of aggravated assault in 2021, but law enforcement only cleared roughly 54% of them. No matter, if you believe you’re innocent or guilty of a crime, hiring a criminal defense attorney is one of the most important things you can do if you find yourself in a situation like this.

If you're in Knoxville, Tennessee, Farragut, Tennessee, or the surrounding counties including but not limited to Anderson, Blount, Union, Maryville, Oak Ridge, Loudon, and Clinton, call our team at the Law Office of Joshua S. Reed for help. 

Possible Consequences of a Guilty Plea 

It may seem like a futile endeavor to pay for the services of an attorney if you believe you’re guilty of charges, but thinking you can face your charges alone can actually result in more serious penalties than you would have otherwise. To a certain extent, the consequences of a guilty plea are not fixed. Depending on the circumstances of your case and how the judge chooses to sentence you, there can be a lot of variation in what penalties you actually face.  

Because the possible consequences can be so far-reaching, you want to do everything you can to minimize them. Working with a competent criminal defense attorney is the single best thing you can do for yourself. Some examples of consequences you may face include: 

  • serving time 

  • fines 

  • suspension or loss of a driver’s license (very common with DUI convictions) 

  • probation 

  • employment consequences 

  • loss of a professional license 

  • inability to carry or purchase a firearm 

  • deportation 

  • loss of visitation or custody of minor children 

  • damage to personal and familial relationships 

Reasons to Hire an Attorney Even if You Think You Are Guilty

One question we get from potential clients repeatedly is, “Should I still hire an attorney if I think I’m guilty?” In nearly every case, the answer is yes. Consider the following benefits:      

  • Advise you of your options: Legal proceedings for criminal charges can be complex and confusing, and your lawyer can ensure you understand the process and share options. With an attorney’s support, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about your actions.  

  • Burden of proof: In a criminal trial, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, and they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. A skilled attorney will be able to analyze and work to break apart the prosecution’s argument, casting doubt into the minds of the judge and jury.  

  • Negotiate a plea deal: Oftentimes, your case won’t even make it to trial, and this will almost always work in your favor. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal for you, which could result in a reduced sentence or even reduced charges. 

  • Alternatives to jail: Judges have a fair amount of leeway in their sentencing and a good attorney will advocate for alternatives to jail, which could include probation, community service, or completion of a treatment program.  

  • Make sure the punishment fits the crime: Above all, your attorney will always fight for your rights and that any punishment you do receive fits the crime and is not excessive.  

Communicating With Your Defense Attorney

When you work with a defense attorney, it’s essential that you’re honest with them and genuinely trust they’ll do everything in their power to help you. This means you should always answer their questions truthfully and not hold back critical information they ask about. It’s always better to let them know the facts so they can anticipate what the prosecution will do and be ready to counter it. You never want surprises during a trial, and if you’re not honest with your lawyer, they won’t be able to adequately represent you.  

They will guide you as to what they want to know to keep your defense strategy focused on what will serve you best. Remember, even if you are guilty of the crime you’re charged with, your attorney is not judging you or your actions.  

Fight for Your Rights

If you’ve recently been charged with a crime that you believe you’re guilty of, you still deserve to have a qualified attorney protecting your interests. For legal help in the Knoxville, Tennessee, or Farragut, Tennessee area, contact us at the Law Office of Joshua S. Reed. Our skilled team is committed to providing the best service to all our clients, and we will work hard to uphold your rights, regardless of guilt or innocence.