Josh Duggar: Considering Pleading Guilty to These Heinous Charges?

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Last month, TLC finally canceled Counting On after 11 disgraceful seasons.

The series can no longer funnel money to Jim Bob Duggar or act as a mouthpiece for their extreme way of life.

But as fans and critics alike eye Josh's looming trial date, they cannot help but wonder what further impact Josh could have on the family.

Could Josh end up changing his plea to guilty?

Josh Duggar Looks Happy

In late April, Josh Duggar was arrested by federal authorities following a two-year investigation.

He was arrested and charged with downloading photos and video of child sexual abuse.

Allegedly, he circumvented his wife's spyware software to access media of little girls' lives being ruined.

Josh Duggar Outside Court

Josh's legal team has pushed hard to delay his trial by as much as possible.

They were partially successful; the initial start date would have been last week, on July 6.

Instead, Josh's trial date was extended by three months or so, and will begin later this year.

Anna Duggar and Josh Duggar and Child

The initial hearing was enough to send chills down people's spines and twist their innards into knots.

Investigators testified as to the alleged contents of what Josh is accused of having accessed.

The details of what was done to these extremely young girls are not in dispute -- and they will haunt many of us for life.

Josh Duggar Close Up

However, Josh entered a plea of "not guilty."

Josh was granted a conditional release by the court, though he could not return home.

He had to live somewhere alongside no minors, without any internet access, only leaving the house for approved reasons.

Josh Duggar Behind Bars

As a result, Josh had to live with a family friend and fellow cult member.

Despite their devotion to the insular and extreme religious community, the court entrusts them to supervise Josh.

He must wear an ankle monitor and must not access the internet for any reason.

Anna Duggar and Josh Duggar: A Photo

Anna has brought the children to visit Josh -- often, it is reported.

Josh is not permitted unsupervised contact with them, or any contact with other minors.

He can go to work and go to church, with other outings limited by his supervising officer.

Anna Duggar and Awful Husband

With Josh's trial being months away, fans and critics alike have a long time to speculate.

This also gives Josh's legal team a long time to select a legal strategy as they pour over all that was turned over in discovery.

But ... is there any chance of Josh pleading guilty to the charges?

Josh Duggar Parties

While spontaneous guilty pleas do occassionally happen, they are uncommon.

Doing so means throwing yourself upon the mercy of the court.

For a confessed child-molester who is now being charged with accessing unspeakable material, that mercy would be in short supply.

Anna Duggar and Josh Duggar on 19 Kids and Counting.

A more likely scenario for a guilty plea would involve making a plea deal with the prosecution.

This deal, which would have to then be approved by the court, would generally come with a more lenient sentencing attached.

The idea is that a deal would be negotiated, including reduced charges and fewer years in prison than a guilty verdict might yield.

Josh Duggar and His Poor Wife

Of course, that could be tricky in a case like this.

Even the mildest case of possessing material depicting child sexual abuse can carry with it some harsh sentencing.

As a result, reducing charges can only do so much "good" from the defendant's perspective.

Anna Duggar and Josh Duggar Announcement

It could be in Josh's best interests to fight the charges vigorously, risking a longer sentence in the hopes of no verdict or a not guilty verdict.

However, the severity of the charges and the public attention, plus Josh's personal history, could be ammunition for prosecutors.

A creative prosecutor who wants to avoid a lengthy trial and numerous appeals might use all of this to encourage a plea deal and a confession.

Josh Duggar at a Game

To be clear, Josh would be required to testify in court to establish his guilt before the judge.

That, of course, is if he decides to plead guilty, something that at the moment seems unlikely.

Given that his wife is currently feuding with his family and apparently believes that Josh is being persecuted, Josh could lose his only remaining supporter.

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