A lot of people commit crimes and get away with them, but there are also many who don’t get so lucky. Whenever a person has been caught and they are accused of a crime, they should remember that they have options for handling the situation. Depending on what is said to them by police or authorities, they may be convinced that pleading guilty is the only way to go, but this isn’t always necessarily the smartest choice.

A California man recently pleaded guilty to theft and property crimes he committed during late 2015. It was reported that he broke into various homes and stole personal property, including golf clubs and cars. The 41-year-old pleaded guilty to burglary and auto theft counts. He will serve one year in prison and will have to serve two years of parole once he is released. In addition, he has been ordered to pay restitution that totals more than $37,000.

Crimes like this happen all over the United States, but not every person who commits them is caught. If they are caught, not all of them will be required to go to jail or serve a longer sentence than one year. This is dependant upon a number of factors, but attorneys can play a huge role in the sentence a person gets.

If you are accused of a crime, know that you do not have to plead guilty. As with all cases, you are innocent until proven guilty, so pleading guilty is not the only option. With the right attorney, you may be able to get a sentence that is more reasonable and may even be able to avoid going to jail at all.

Source: Patch, “Man Pleads Guilty, Sentenced For Coachella Valley Burglaries, Auto Thefts,” June 16, 2016