Plainwell, MI asked in Criminal Law for Michigan

Q: public defender told me that I should take the deal because I'm a black man in Allegan,MI I will be convicted legal or n

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: That is not a reason to plea to something you are not guilty of. You should ask the attorney what are the elements of the crime you are charged with. Then, you must ask yourself whether there is sufficient evidence of those elements. Remember, evidence can be in the form of witness or victim testimony, or other circumstantial evidence; they do not need to catch you "red-handed".

By the way you phrase your question, it sounds like this a charge where you might need to take the stand in your own defense. That is always risky because it comes down to whether you can appear credible to a jury. No one, regardless of race, should expect to just be able to get in front of a jury and tell your story and that everything will be fine. It's a calculated risk that you should have a conversation with your attorney about.

Last, while I can certainly appreciate your concern with how this attorney explained the situation to you, I would not discard his or her advise just because of how it was presented to you. Appointed attorneys 1) deal with a lot of cases in the same court and so get to the point where they can quickly and accurately assess a case, and 2) they have no financial incentive to lie to you. This attorney has likely seen the evidence and this type of case before, knows what a good deal looks like given the circumstances, and probably has a good sense of your chances and consequences at trial.

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