We have all heard the phrase, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” Unfortunately, that phrase could be the farthest thing from the truth, and there is a story I would like to relay that illustrates this well.

I was in a courtroom waiting for my case to be called when the court called up three young men. These men were very young, they had to be in their early 20’s, at the oldest. The three of them were standing in front of the judge, in their orange jumpsuits and handcuffs, when the judge inquired how they would like to plead. Immediately two of them spoke out, “Judge, we plead guilty.” You could tell they just wanted to get it over with. The judge gave them their advisements, and made sure that they understood what they were doing before asking them again, “Do you still want to go ahead and plead guilty?” They answered, “Yes,” and the two of them were convicted and a sentencing date was set.

The third young man, however, said, “You know what? I’m pleading not guilty. I want to talk to an attorney first and come back at a later date to resolve my case.” I was intrigued by this, and afterward I kept an eye on the case out of curiosity. A couple of months later I came to find out that the first two gentlemen had been sentenced for their crimes and were going to have to do probation and all the classes and whatnot. What happened to the third person, the gentleman who had pleaded not guilty? He got an attorney, and his charges were all dismissed. While this young man got to walk away with nothing on his record, the other two young men were left with convictions, something that was going to follow them for some time.

The truth is your biggest expense in life is what you do not know. In a court of law, if you do not know something and you act hastily or act on your ignorance, you may be hit with something that I like to call an “ignorance tax.” An ignorance tax is an extra, additional, and sometimes unnecessary penalty that people pay for being uninformed. The best thing you can do is pick up a phone, call an attorney, and be informed to try to get the best outcome for your case.

If you have any questions about this or anything else, I am more than happy to talk to you. You can reach me at (317) 623-4546.