Do you know your options? In court proceedings, the defendant must decide
which plea they will answer the charge with. A plea is an important part
of a trial and must be decided on before arraignment with the defendant
and his or her legal team. Pleas are perhaps the most significant defense
strategy one can utilize. Consider the following pleas:
Perhaps the least-popular plea, this plea is used when the defendant admits
responsibility for all of the charges brought against them. When a defendant
enters a guilty plea, the trial is typically waived entirely and the court
may continue straight to sentencing. In the U.S., if a defendant enters
a plea of guilty, they must do it “knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently”.
In order to determine this, the prosecution will ask the defendant a series
of questions as a test of understanding.
A plea of not guilty will allow the defendant to deny guilt and thus responsibility
for all charges. If the court finds the defendant not guilty, the defendant
will be acquitted of all charged.
Nolo Contendere (No Contest)
Latin for “I do not wish to contend”, a plea of no contest
is considered a denial of guilt but not a plea of not guilty. It’s
a third option that usually leads to a plea bargain. In state-level court
cases, a plea of no contest can only occur under certain circumstances
that are decided upon a state-by-state basis. After a no contest plea,
the defendant will have the opportunity to pursue a plea bargain.
Carroll Troberman, PLLC is here to represent you in court for your criminal charge.
Contact out Austin criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation.