It is important to understand that the absence of a criminal history does not change the facts of the case you and your attorney are defending. If the case is decided by a judge or jury, the verdict will be determined by the facts as presented and argued by the prosecution and the defense. Should you be convicted, however, your otherwise clean record can weigh in your favor as the judge determines the severity of your sentence. A clean record also can also help your lawyer negotiate a more favorable plea bargain.