Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Should I ever plead guilty to a charge?”
You have probably heard about “Operation Varsity Blues,” the college admissions scandal that is rocking the nation. Evidence of parents cheating, lying, and bribing their children’s ways into top-level schools around the country has taken the news cycle by storm. The public’s interest in the scandal lies partly with who stands accused of these criminal acts. There are many notable celebrities wrapped up in the scandal. One such celebrity is Lori Loughlin, who played the loveable Aunt Becky in the popular sitcom Full House.
The scandal starts with the college “consultant” William Singer. Singer worked as a consultant to families to offer advice and guidance in gaining acceptance to various colleges and universities. The ways in which Singer would help individuals gain admission was through bribery, cheating, falsifying test scores, and other shady practices. Money paid by the individual, or families, for his services were often funneled through fraudulent charities to the university where admission was sought.
Loughlin and her fashion designer husband are accused of paying $500,000 to get their two children into the University of Southern California. With this sum of money, Singer falsified documents that made up athletic credentials for Loughlin’s two daughters. These athletic credentials included presenting the girls as accomplished rowers for their high school teams. Neither of the two girls had ever participated in rowing at their high school or elsewhere.
Loughlin is not the only celebrity facing charges, but she has garnered a lot of attention in the decision to not accept a plea bargain offered up by the prosecution. A number of celebrities, including Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman, accepted a plea bargain and pled guilty to various charges. Loughlin and her husband did not accept the plea bargain, pled not guilty, and presumably want to fight their charges at trial. Loughlin is facing charges like money laundering, tax evasion, fraud, and other conspiracy-related charges.
It was surprising to many that Loughlin did not accept the plea bargain, given the seemingly abundant evidence available in this case. Singer has been cooperating with the investigation and it has been reported that he even has worn a wire, recorded phone calls, and otherwise helped the FBI secure additional evidence against the accused. Taking a case to trial gives the prosecution more time to secure evidence and strengthen their case against the couple.
Of course, what is shown and reported on in the media is usually one sided. Loughlin and her defense team could have a solid defense against these charges that could prove to be successful. Every criminal case is unique and the decision to accept a plea bargain or go to trial needs to be evaluated and decided on an individual basis.
If you are facing any type of criminal charges, the criminal law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here for you. We know that every criminal charge is unique, as is every defendant. As such, we approach every case with an open mind to make decisions and present defenses on a personal level for the specific circumstances at hand. Contact us today for a consultation. If you find yourself facing criminal charges and need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.
The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.
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