The Most Important Question to Ask Before Pleading Guilty

Posted by Corey L. Scott | Jun 24, 2021 | 0 Comments

Imagine for a moment that you have a criminal case pending, and the trial date is quickly approaching. Your attorney calls you and says, “I have great news! The prosecutor has just given me a wonderful deal. He is willing to plead you to ______, and he is going to give you probation, with no jail time.” Many people might start jumping for joy at this news, especially if they believed there was a good chance they were going to jail. But before you take off running to the office to sign this deal, I want you to ask your attorney this: what are my options?

While there is no question that the deal being offered is a great one, it is extremely important for you and your attorney to discuss every alternative. For instance, is it advantageous to take the deal now, or if we wait a little longer might they offer something better? If the prosecutor offered this, does that indicate the State has a weak case against me? If there is a possibility the State has a weak case, then should we go to trial? If we go to trial, what are the likely consequences and what is the worst-case scenario? These are the types of questions that you should be prepared to ask your attorney.

I know that when people think of attorneys, they imagine opening arguments and cross examinations, or lawyers passionately pounding on a table. But we call attorneys “counsel,” for a reason. This is when your attorney should step into their counselor role and advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of every potential choice. The question, “What are my options?” is the most important question to ask your attorney before deciding to accept or reject a plea agreement.

My name is Corey Scott. If I can be of any further help, please feel free to reach out. 

About the Author

Corey L. Scott

Corey L. Scott, was born and raised in East Chicago, Indiana. Upon graduation from East Chicago Central High School, Corey attended Indiana State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology.  Upon graduation, Corey accepted a position with the Marion County Superior Court, Juvenile Division where he served with distinction for the next nine years, eventually being promoted to Director of the Youth Counseling Department. Pursuing his dream of becoming an attorney, Corey attended the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.  While in law school, Corey was an Indiana Council on Legal Education Opportunity (ICLEO) fellow and participated in Moot Court competitions.  He also worked in the Marion Superior Court, Criminal Division as a bailiff and research assistant to the Honorable Tanya Walton Pratt, who serves as a Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. Corey also served as an internship law clerk to the Honorable Judge, Margret G. Robb, at the Indiana Court of Appeals. Finally, upon graduation from law school, Corey had the distinct honor and privilege to serve as a law clerk to the Honorable Justice, Robert D. Rucker, who sits on the Indiana Supreme Court. Corey then became an associate with Mike Norris Law Office, where he specialized in bankruptcy law with a main concentration on working to assist families obtain a fresh start through Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  Still a young attorney, Corey then served as a public defender at the Marion County Public Defender Agency.  In this position, Corey gained invaluable trial experience by defending clients in a wide range of matters from misdemeanors to serious felonies on a daily basis.  It was also during this time that Corey discovered his passion for representing and serving "everyday people." An entrepreneur at heart, Corey established the Law Office of Corey L. Scott, P.C.  Since then, he and his staff have served the greater Indianapolis community and surrounding counties in several legal disciplines including: Bankruptcy, Criminal Defense and Family Law.  In keeping with his vision, Corey L. Scott, P.C., is a client focused, results oriented general law practice that endeavors to provide legal solutions for "everyday people" charged with a crime, dealing with financial crisis or going through a difficult divorce. Corey has also been active serving the greater Indianapolis community by participating in pro bono programs such as "Ask a Lawyer," the "Modest Means" panel program which allows individuals to afford legal counsel at a fraction of normal rates, Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic and the Heartland Pro Bono Council program. Corey is a proud member of the Indianapolis Bar Association, Indiana Bar Association, American Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.


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