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Entering a Plea

Posted on:2/1/2012
If you have been arrested for DUI, you will be produced in court. During the arraignment, the judge will inform you about the charges against you and ask you whether you understand the charges. The judge will then ask you about the plea you wish to enter. You have three options: guilty, not guilty and no contest.


 

Pleading guilty will result in a conviction unless the prosecution really messes up its case. Think twice before you plead guilty. In our criminal justice system, the prosecution must prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. Even if there is a slight doubt, the court will throw out the case against you. But if you plead guilty, the prosecution has to do nothing.

 

If you enter a no contest plea, the court will decide the case based on the evidence before it. Generally a no contest plea will result in conviction unless the prosecution does not have any evidence against you.

 

When you enter a plea of not guilty, your case will be scheduled for trial. You can challenge the evidence against you and also cross examine the officer who arrested you. You get to fight the charges against you. If you manage to create even the slightest doubt about the evidence against you, the court will throw out the case.

 

Our constitution guarantees the right to free trial. You have the right to confront your accuser and the evidence against you. Use that right to protect your liberty.


  
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