When evidence surfaces that could exonerate those convicted of a crime, or a lack of evidence throws a prosecutor’s case into question, instead of righting the wrong, some defendants are offered an Alford plea in which the defendant enters a guilty plea in exchange for a reduced sentence even when they may be innocent.
Although a defendant may be released from incarceration in exchange for pleading guilty, the criminal record that they will carry not only can make finding employment or going to school difficult but, perhaps a far more frightening prospect, is that a conviction record can result in increased punishment if the defendant is ever found guilty of a subsequent crime.
While many prosecutors contend that they offer Alford pleas because they are convinced of an inmates guilt and want to uphold a conviction, the subtext is that they probably cannot effectively prosecute a new trial due to a lack of evidence, the surfacing of new evidence, or that too much time has passed. Instead of exoneration, prosecutors may make an offer that is hard to refuse rather than setting things right.
If you are being investigated or have been charged with a crime in Wisconsin, it is important to get experienced legal help immediately. A criminal defense attorney will aggressively defend you against any charges you face, with the goal of an outright dismissal or a reduction in charges and related penalties. In cases where you or a family member has been wrongfully convicted, an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best place to start. Contact Waukesha Wisconsin criminal defense lawyer Andrew Ladd for help at 262-542-3900.