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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need a lawyer if I know I am guilty?

Even if you believe you are guilty or just want to resolve your case quickly without going to trial, you still need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you for a variety of different reasons.

First, an experienced lawyer is needed to review the charges the State has filed against you to make sure you were not overcharged for crimes you did not commit, or that you were not incorrectly charged based on the facts of your case. Also, in many cases, the State has a specific amount of time before it can no longer bring charges against you, and your lawyer will be able to determine if this time period has expired, which could result in a dismissal of your charges.

Second, an experienced lawyer is needed to review the State’s evidence against you to determine if the State has enough evidence to prove the exact crime(s) you have been charged with. It is the State’s job to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and you do not have to do anything to help the State prove their case against you. That means that even if you do not want to fight your case, if your lawyer determines that the State cannot prove its case against you, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a dismissal of your charges, a reduction in your charges (i.e. from a felony to a misdemeanor), or a favorable plea deal (i.e. probation instead of jail time). 

Third, an experienced lawyer is needed to guide you through the plea process and sentencing. When you plea to a crime, there are a number of consequences that can affect your life beyond the sentence that you receive.  For example, your driver’s license might be suspended, you might have to pay fines or court costs, or you might face deportation if you are not a U.S. citizen. Your lawyer will also make sure that your sentence is actually legal based on the crime you were charged with.

As you can see, the criminal justice system is complex, and these are just a few reasons why you need an experienced lawyer on your side protecting your rights and interests at every step of the way. If you or a loved one were charged with a crime, contact Burkhardt Legal today and let us put our experience to work for you in getting the best possible legal outcome in your case!