Should You Plead Guilty?

Interviewer: What’s so bad about just pleading guilty and giving up on a DUI? Let’s say a first time offense. What are some of the penalties they are likely to face if you just give up and plead guilty?

Shannon: Well, not only are you going to get everything that the district attorney or prosecuting attorney is asking for, so you’re not going to have anybody to negotiate on your behalf or to advocate for you.

By pleading guilty doing so you’re basically saying, “Here, label me this for the rest of my life, this is going to be my criminal history.” And with anything you do, any job you want in the future, or anything that’s going to require a background check, the charge is going to come up. Not only that, if for some reason something happens in the future where you have another charge brought against you, your past history is going to come into play.

So the penalties that you’re facing each time are going to get more and more intense, with harsher punishments as you continue facing these additional charges. Hopefully it does look like a big deal to you right now because it is, but if for some reason it doesn’t, which who knows what people are going through, it will be a big deal eventually.

Sometime in your life you are going to wish that you didn’t have this, and wish that you had taken more steps to face it head on. It’s always going to come back, so you want to try to mitigate the harm that you’re going to be experiencing for the rest of your life, that stigma, that label, that history, right now, instead of waiting and hoping it’s not a big deal.

Shannon I. Wilson, Esq.

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