To Plead Guilty Or To Plead Not Guilty: What You Should Know

Criminal, Lawyer in McHenry County

If you are indicted with a crime, the most crucial decision you will make with your counsel is either to plead guilty or not guilty to the allegation.

Your attorney can obtain evidence from the police and eventually determine the severity of the prosecutors’ case against you. However, even before the evidence files are given to your counsel, you may have a good idea of the prosecution’s case’s strength.

If the evidence supporting the accusation is insufficient, you will have more reason to plead not guilty and contest the charge. In contrast, if the evidence against you is solid, it is essential to recognise the likelihood of conviction and, as a result, the merits of pleading guilty to the accusation.


If the evidence against you is sufficient and you have a good chance of being found guilty after a trial, there are logistic advantages to pleading guilty early.

The law recognises that entering a guilty plea helps the community by avoiding lengthy procedures and reducing the strain of the court system and the justice system. As a result, an offender who pleads guilty to a charge receives a reduction in the sentence that would otherwise be given following a guilty verdict after a trial


It is up to the accused to decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty. But, there are several issues that an accused should be made aware of before making that option. In criminal procedures, there are essential legal norms that must be followed. The presumption of innocence, proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and the burden of proof are among those principles. People who have been put on trial for a crime should be informed of these concepts.

Burden Of Proof

Nothing is more distressing than the unjust imprisonment of the innocent. That is why the prosecution bears the burden of establishing guilt under the law.

The prosecution is the one who brings the charge. The prosecution has a plethora of government resources at its disposal. The prosecution is the one who charges the accused, and it is for this reason that the prosecutors bear the burden of proof in a criminal offence trial. The onus is never placed on the accused to establish their innocence. The accused is not required to provide evidence or summon witnesses on their behalf. There can be no negative inferences drawn against the accused for using that legitimate privilege.

Presumption Of Innocence

The accused is assumed innocent of the allegation at the outset of any criminal process. An accused individual is considered innocent until either a guilty plea is made or a jury, by its judgement, deems the accused guilty.

Every individual on trial is entitled to the presumption of innocence, regardless of who they are or what accusations they face.

Standard Of Proof

The third criminal law concept is that the plaintiff must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. A person’s freedom is at stake in criminal prosecution. As a result, in any criminal case, it is not sufficient for the prosecutor to tip the scales and show that the accused is most likely guilty of the offence for which they are charged. It is also insufficient to establish that the accused probably, or more than likely, perpetrated the offence.

Criminal law courts aren’t courts of presumption. They are legal systems, and a fact finder may only convict an accused if they conclude the accused is guilty of said charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

Contact Franks & Rechenberg. P.C. Attorneys at Law to help with your case.