If you get arrested and find yourself facing criminal charges, it’s crucial to think about the potential issues that go far beyond jail time or paying fines. This can have an impact on the rest of your life.
For instance, immigrants may worry about being deported. If they tell you that you can avoid jail time by pleading guilty, but then your guilty plea gives you a criminal record that they can use as an excuse to deport you, have you really accomplished anything? Clearly, this is now a life-changing event, even if you don’t spend any time behind bars.
Even if you don’t get deported, is that criminal record now going to follow you for life? Are you going to find it impossible to get a job, rent an apartment, take out a loan for a house or get accepted into college? Are you going to lose some of your rights, such as the right to vote or to own firearms? You must carefully consider all ramifications before making a decision.
Pushed into a confession?
One key thing to remember is that the authorities may try to pressure you or push you to make a confession. They’ll often use tactics like telling you that “this will all be over if you just confess.” They’re also allowed to lie to you about the evidence they have against you.
In some cases, people even make false confessions, pleading guilty when they are innocent. Psychologists note that this is especially an issue with teens and other young people. There are cases where young people have found their entire lives ruined because they confessed to something under duress or because they were confused about what they were supposed to do.
Protecting your future
You cannot afford to make these mistakes, and you don’t have to. You just need to know all of the options you have to protect your future. It’s important to have an experienced legal team on your side if you need guidance through this process.