Because it’s wise. Think of it this way: if someone told you they were badly injured or seriously ill, you'd tell them to go to the doctor, right? Even if it's troublesome and expensive.

Because a doctor can fix the problem, or make it better. A skilled defense attorney can have the same impact on your criminal case. You know you've got a problem. You need a professional to help fix it or make it better.

Folks charged with serious crimes need a defense lawyer who prepares to win their case no matter what, and who isn’t afraid of trial. Remember: to convict, the State has to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury, who all agree. Who knows? You might have a defense available that you never considered, and an experienced lawyer can use that to your advantage.

Seasoned criminal defense lawyers know how to help guilty people avoid a conviction by convincing prosecutors they're eligible for alternative programs that can wipe the crime off your record, like conditional discharge or pretrial intervention [PTI] . You can even qualify for PTI if you're charged with crimes that are too severe to get in the program, but you'll need the right help to have any hope for that.

As for what good a lawyer can do if you’re pleading guilty, you can be confident it’s the right thing to do because your lawyer—whom you trust—has left no stone unturned trying to find a winning defense. You can actually feel good about pleading guilty, knowing it’s the best possible outcome that could have been reached in this case.

If your looking for examples of how we've helped people charged with all manner of crimes, including felonies, read some of our client stories.

And remember in most serious criminal cases, the State has a lawyer. Pleading guilty without a lawyer is like a Super Bowl team deciding to leave its quarterback at home.

A talented criminal defense lawyer realizes pleading guilty is not for quitters. These are some things he can do to help you:

  • He can be your buffer against the fearsome power of the government. This is your life. Be honest about two vital things: you’re emotionally involved in this case and probably have no idea what you’re doing. Confronting the State’s lawyer alone is like performing surgery on yourself, alone, in the dark, without a flashlight. Give it to a professional to get it done right.
  • He can minimize consequences. He can negotiate reduced charges that could save years off your sentence—and maybe keep you from going to prison at all, by obtaining a sentence of probation.
  • He can help you understand other consequences of a conviction, so you’re not shocked later. Many people plead guilty not knowing there are punishments beyond prison, probation, or fines. Some of the saddest cases we’ve seen are folks who just pay the fine for a driving under suspension, then come to us wide-eyed saying they had no idea their license would get suspended for even longer.
  • He can steer you to community resources to address the root cause of your crime. The justice system wants to see an accused person overcome his behavior problems by attending drug rehab, anger counseling, or similar programs. An experienced lawyer can help you find these resources to prove you’ve learned from your mistake and are determined to never let it happen again.
  • He can make a full presentation to the judge at your plea hearing to convince her to keep you out of prison. Many factors can be presented by a skilled advocate to show you’re not a hardened criminal deserving of harsh punishment. A talented defense lawyer can help you develop a defense against prison if he can’t develop a defense to win your trial.

At Holland & Usry, we admit pride and ego push us to win…but we never forget what’s really on the line: your freedom and future. Sometimes the best way to preserve both is to take a deal. And the decision is always yours. A good lawyer helps you make the right one. If your freedom and future are in jeopardy, email us from right here to see how we can safeguard you.


Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a workers' compensation attorney.