5 Reasons You Shouldn't Plead Guilty When You're Innocent
If you can afford to pay your bail after an arrest, you can go home and prepare for your trial. You can work with your lawyer to ensure that your innocence is protected. But what happens if you can't make bail? You have to sit in jail until your trial.
To avoid this, some people admit guilt even when they are innocent. It is easier for them to plead guilty and take a small sentence than it is to come up with the bail payment. If you are in this situation, you should not plead guilty. You should try as hard as possible to make bail.
Here are the top five reasons you shouldn't plead guilty when you're innocent.
1. The crime goes on your record.
Needless to say, when you plead guilty the crime goes on your record. Even though you are innocent, your record will now say that you drove recklessly, stole from a local business, assaulted someone, or did whatever else the courts alleged.
The country was founded on a principle of innocent until proven guilty. If you know that you are innocent, you should find a way to protect yourself.
2. You may impair your earning potential.
You're making a guilty plea right now because you can't afford bail. But in the long-term, this decision is going to hurt your finances a lot. Employers may be less likely to hire you if you have a criminal record.
Of course, you can tell them that you are innocent during the interview process. But as sad as this is, most employers are going to believe the criminal records in front of them — not the word of a "convicted criminal".
3. You may have to deal with fines or the indirect costs of going to jail.
If you plead guilty to avoid paying bail, you may still face some financial repressions. The courts may assess fines on you. If you can't pay them, you risk other penalties.
If you have to spend some time in jail or prison, that also comes with indirect costs. You may not be able to work so you'll lose money. You may also have to pay someone to take care of your kids or pets while you're incarcerated.
4. You may become a victim of the system.
Once you are "guilty" of one crime, the courts will look at your more skeptically. For instance, let's say that you get accused of another crime. Now, when the courts set your bail, they may choose a higher amount since you have a history of crime.
5. You may hurt your reputation.
You will know that you're innocent, but your community may not. Having a crime on your record can hurt your reputation. A criminal reputation can hurt you and your family.
To get out of jail, you need to post bail. A bonds company may be able to help you. Contact a bail bonds company today to learn more.