Every day, hundreds of Minnesotans go to court to deal with a criminal charge. And every day, hundreds of people plead guilty to those criminal charges without once speaking to a defense attorney. If you’ve been charged with a crime, we understand that you probably just want to put it behind you and move on with your life. Unfortunately, there are often lingering consequences of which you may be unaware. Putting things behind you may not be easy if you plead guilty right away. This is why you need to speak with your own MN criminal defense attorney who has your best interests in mind.
It’s important to understand that prosecutors have a job to do; and it’s not to look out for your interests. In fact, they usually tell you just that. When you make the first appearance on your criminal charge, the prosecutor will usually call you up to counsel table to “negotiate” your case. Most prosecutors will begin the conversation by clarifying that they are not your attorney, that they work for the other side, and that you have the right to consult with your own attorney. Despite this discussion, the majority of people choose to continue speaking with the prosecutor about their case.
This is really puzzling when you consider what’s at stake. We’ve all heard the old saying, “you wouldn’t perform surgery on yourself” and other similar adages. The same is true here; you shouldn’t make legal decisions without speaking to an attorney. But let’s take it one step further. Pleading guilty to a crime after you’ve only spoken with the prosecutor is like agreeing to surgery after a doctor tells you that your health is not their concern and their job is to do the opposite of looking out for your best interests. Imagine the following exchange:
Doctor: Now I want to begin by saying that I am not your doctor. It is not my job to look out for your best interests. Do you want to continue speaking with me about your health?
You: Sure. Let’s talk.
Doctor: Okay, well, again, you are welcome to speak with your own doctor…someone who is supposed to protect your interests.
You: Got it. Keep talking.
Doctor: Well, I think we should remove one of your lungs.
You: Sounds good. You’re the expert.
Obviously, this is an extreme example, but it highlights the absurdity of what we’re talking about. If the prosecutor tells you that you have the right to speak with an attorney, do it. Your situation does not become worse simply because you choose to contact an attorney. And in many cases, it may be your only opportunity to truly understand all of the consequences associated with your charge. If you’ve been charged with a crime, contact the attorneys at Leverson Budke, PLLP at your earliest convenience.