If you have been accused of a crime in the State of Louisiana, you may feel helpless and like the courts are against you. Many people may choose to plead guilty, accepting whatever punishment the judge decides, rather than fighting for their freedom and clearing their name.
John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm is a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys that believe everyone deserves legal counsel that they can count on. For our Louisiana clients, we hope to help you achieve justice for yourself by helping you understand everything you need to know about pleading guilty for whatever crime you are being charged with.
What Are the Different Louisiana Criminal Defense Pleas?
In Louisiana, there are three different criminal defense plea options when in court. Before entering a plea, you must understand precisely what each plea entails.
- Not Guilty: A person may plead not guilty when they deny all charges against them and believe there is insufficient evidence to support any claims made against them.
- Nolo Contendere (No Contest): Choosing to plead no contest may not be an admission of guilt, but a person will still be charged the same way as if they had pleaded guilty. While the court must agree to allow the use of this plea, a person may choose this option as it cannot be used against them in future court cases.
- Guilty: An individual who admits to the crimes they are accused of committing may plead guilty. When someone chooses to plead guilty, they waive their right to a jury trial and questioning witnesses.
Having an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the laws in Louisiana will be helpful in understanding what your best option is for how you should plead at court.
What Is the Burden of Proof in a Louisiana Criminal Case?
In a criminal case, the burden of proof is always with the government. In other words, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury and judge that you committed the crimes you have been accused of. If you believe that your criminal defense attorney may be able to challenge any part of the prosecution’s case against you, pleading guilty may cost you that opportunity to achieve freedom.
A Criminal Conviction in Louisiana May Negatively Impact Your Life
If you choose to plead guilty to your charges and are convicted, that conviction may follow you even after you serve your sentence. Before you choose to plead guilty, consider the fact that a criminal conviction may impact almost all aspects of your life.
One of the most notable ways those convicted of crimes find their lives negatively impacted is their search for a job. In fact, with the COVID-19 pandemic making it difficult for everyone to find jobs, convicted felons have reported having an increasingly difficult time finding companies that are willing to hire them.
Louisiana Criminal Defense Attorneys Are Here to Represent You
Being convicted of a crime can leave you feeling frightened and unsure of what to do next. While the process of fighting for your freedom may seem impossible, you do not have to go through it alone. When you are unsure of how to plead in a Louisiana criminal case, having the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney may be just what you need.
The legal team at John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm knows how much is at stake when helping their criminal defense clients. Eric G. Johnson and his skilled staff have the knowledge and experience to provide dedicated representation to each of their clients. For a free consultation, contact us here or call (318) 377-1555.