The Consequences Of Pleading Guilty

There are advantages to pleading guilty. When you are dealing with an experienced lawyer, your defense will usually make the right decision to plead guilty when they should and the Crown will pull the appropriate charge when they should.

Usually you get a very good offer from the Crown Attorney such as a plea bargain to a lesser offence or a Diversion. If somebody is charged with possession for the purposes of trafficking, the Crown will often allow a plea bargain for the charge of simple possession. The advantage is that if there is no trafficking in the actual conviction, you have a much better chance of being able to enter the United States. The war on drugs is a major focus of law enforcement in the United States. In fact, if you have a trafficking offense here in Canada, you probably will have a much more difficult time entering the States than if you have a violent offense.

A Diversion means having the charges diverted. In other words, the Crown withdraws the charge subject to the accused doing certain things, usually community service, or perhaps making some charitable donations, and showing a clear drug screen. The charge is withdrawn without a trial and without a plea of guilty or admission of guilt.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Ottawa, Ontario Region, contact Engel and Associates for a consultation.

This article is taken from a November 12, 2007 interview with Bruce Engel, Criminal Lawyer with Engel and Associates, an Ottawa, Ontario Criminal Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.