NJ HOW TO DETERMINE WHETHER TO ACCEPT A PLEA OFFER
Fighting Criminal Charges: To Plead Guilty or Not Guilty
Have you been accused of a crime and are considering pleading guilty? Even if the evidence seems stacked against you, remember that the prosecution still has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are unsure what to do, the criminal defense lawyers at Todd Spodek’s law firm can guide you through New Jersey’s criminal justice system. Our team will help you consider whether to plead guilty or not guilty and provide skilled representation throughout your case.
Plea Agreement 101: Think Before You Enter a Plea
At your plea hearing, the judge will read out each charge against you, and you must respond guilty or not guilty to each. If you plead guilty, the court may order probation or jail time and/or impose fines, community service requirements, substance abuse treatment orders, or a combination of these penalties. If you enter a not-guilty plea, however, that means preparing for trial. You and your lawyer will work together to determine which defenses to use and which witnesses, documents or other items could be used as evidence before an impartial jury – this can take significant time.
It is important for those accused of crimes to know whether they intend to plead guilty or not ahead of their plea hearing (arrangement). Unexpected pleas are problematic for attorneys who have invested billable hours into building strong cases for trial preparation. Being caught off-guard by an unplanned guilty plea loses opportunities during plea-bargaining negotiations with prosecutors; conversely if an unexpected not guilty is entered it delays efforts spent in urging clients towards less risky deals when available.
How Does A Plea Deal Work?
Court trials involve many costs that may have public taxpayers funding some aspects of it. Prosecutors must be paid by the state while defendants unable to afford counsel can qualify for public defenders. Guilty pleas may have less severe consequences than verdicts from trials; moreover, incarcerations become monetarily burdensome to both defendants and state resources. When individuals enter a guilty plea, they avoid heavier penalties that courts would impose following a not-guilty plea combined with an eventual guilty verdict in trial. In some instances like drug busts on large-scale operations, suspects charged with individual crimes can secure manageable sentences by providing the state with evidence-aid.
A skilled lawyer will fight for their client to obtain the most favorable sentence possible through plea agreement negotiation. Plea bargaining offers for disorderly conduct offenses (misdemeanor) are jail-free sentences while for more serious felonies come reduced charges with lesser punishments via agreements of pleading guilty.
However, those convicted of crimes through plea deals receive criminal records regardless of sentence severity which can be viewed during background checks requested by potential employers or landlords. All defendants hold the right to appeal guilty convictions but prove fairly challenging depending on circumstance; it is even more strenuous when facing prosecution charges to show innocence after already a guilty plea entered if by chance the defendant eventually discovers any form of misconduct that wasnt uncovered before.
Always connect with a criminal defense attorney who provides support and advice throughout your proceedings before entertaining any idea of accepting plea deals at arraignment hearing. Todd Spodeks experienced lawyers represent clients fighting against criminal charges, reducing sentences upon entering into plea agreements or having their cases dismissed entirely over years of practice-helping those in need to receive justice when accused unfairly.
|Pleading Guilty vs. Not Guilty|
|Factors||Pleading Guilty||Pleading Not Guilty|
|Judge’s recitation of charges||Respond guilty or not guilty||Respond guilty or not guilty|
|Compliance with certain sentencing conditions||Yes||No|
|Preparing for a trial||No||Yes|
>Opportunity to summon witnesses>
Change of Plea
>Financial disadvantages </TD>
>Lesser financial burden on taxpayers ≪TD>
>Criminal conviction on your record
>Punishment</T>D>><TD>Lesser sentence for some offences </TD><TD>Guilty conviction in employment and housing background checks}
|Appeal>~|| ||More challenging|
NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS