While the law presumes you are innocent until proven guilty, if charged with a crime, you will be required to plead one of three ways:
- Not Guilty
- Nolo Contendere (Latin for No Contest)
A "Not Guilty" plea is entered when you are innocent, when you are not certain which plea to enter, when there is not enough evidence against you to prove guilt, or when you want to demand a public trial.
If you plead guilty or nolo contendere, either to the charges against you or to some lesser charge, the judge will ask you questions so that the judge can confirm that you know what you are accused of, that you understand the penalties, and that no one is forcing you to enter the plea. The judge will then proceed with sentencing.
The majority of the time, a plea is entered pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement. However, even if the State Attorney and I have a negotiated plea agreement in place, the judge is not required to accept the agreement. In which case we will have to make a decision to renegotiate an agreement acceptable to the judge, proceed to trial, or plea as charged. Nevertheless, the majority of judges will accept and honor negotiated plea agreements.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby
If you or a loved one have been arrested or charged with a crime in Central Florida or the greater Orlando area, please contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby today for the criminal defense you deserve.
The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.