A person charged with a crime can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. A plea is a formal response of the defendant to a criminal charge, which is presented at an arraignment – the first appearance in the court. Entering a plea indicates to the judge how to formally note or “enter” it in the court’s official file. The beginning point of the case for a defendant is a pleading, and as the case progresses there will be opportunities to change. It is, therefore, important to choose the first plea wisely, though some are easier to change than others. An experienced Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney can explain to you which option is best for your case.
A not guilty plea is a defendant’s answer to a criminal charge that he or she pleads not guilty to the court upon asking. The plea determines how the court will proceed with the trial. If a defendant doesn’t enter a plea at all, the court will file a not guilty plea on the defendant’s behalf. In many cases, a plea of not guilty will be followed by efforts to obtain a jury trial. It depends on your Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Lawyer how to set a court date and argue on your behalf at trial.Criminal Charges and Not Guilty Plea
It is obvious that a defendant who pleads not guilty is refuting all charges against him or her. There are many reasons to enter a not guilty plea, such as a legal strategy that influences the plea. If you are innocent and want to get the opportunity to have your case tried before a jury, you enter into a not guilty plea. Similarly, if the defendant doesn’t believe the charge is justified, he or she may enter a not guilty plea.
If a defendant in the Pittsburgh area has enough evidence to defend himself against criminal charges, he or she may also choose to enter a not guilty plea. For example, one of the possible defenses available in some cases is the insanity defense, meaning that, if a defendant can prove that he or she was insane during the commission of the crime, he or she may receive a minimized sentence or in some cases avoid sentencing altogether.
Under the law, even if you are charged or indicted, you are considered innocent until proven guilty. There are additional specifications or aggravating factors that can carry their own punishment or may make your potential punishment harsher. If you enter a plea of not guilty, the burden of proof is on the prosecutor. Now, the prosecutor has to put all elements together and prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You need a professional Criminal Defense Lawyer in the Pittsburgh area like Sean Logue to defend your case after thoroughly investigating it.Why hire a lawyer for a not guilty plea?
The main objective of your Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney is to find enough evidence to prove that you are not guilty. The lawyer will investigate the matter thoroughly and argue it before the court. The main objectives of your lawyer will be:
- Investigate the facts or legal issues are in conflict
- Fully investigate and explore the possibility of a fair trial based on defense evidence
- Finding evidence that proves defense as accurately as possible
- If the trial can’t be avoided, your lawyer will ensure it runs as smoothly as possible
Hiring an attorney can help you avoid missteps in defending your case.
Plea deals can be complex things and difficult to understand. You need a skilled and competent Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney to explain them to you and help you file the motions for them. Sean Logue and his colleagues at Logue Law Group are available 24/7 to help. Don’t delay! Call 844.PITT.DUI or 844.PITT.DUI now, or click here to contact us online.
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