By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
There’s not much in it for you.
The prosecutor may be a nice person. Most are. Your criminal record, though, is not as important to them as getting to lunch on time.
Prosecutors are your legal opponent and frankly most have never defended anyone so they don’t understand nuances to keep your record clean. They don’t understand how to minimize collateral consequences such as professional licensing, immigration, or future enhancement. Most have never had to crack a book on these issues. Many will make uninformed representations about your rights and about the effects of your plea.
In fairness to prosecutors, It’s not their job to point out legal and factual weaknesses in their own case which can result in acquittal. They don’t review a police report critically like a defense attorney would for legal issues, defenses, and inconsistencies. They see the police report as a checklist and not much more.
Many times people think because they made a mistake or because no one will believe their side of the story – they need to just visit with the prosecutor, take their medicine and get it over with because it’s hopeless and there is no need to spend money on a lawyer. You may not think it’s a big deal now, but studies have shown criminal records cost people money over the course of their lives.
I have not met a prosecutor that would retaliate against someone for getting a lawyer though I am sure there are some out there. Most actually appreciate the opportunity to streamline your case.
Talk to a lawyer!
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice you should consult an attorney.