When you receive a DUI during a traffic stop, it can be stressful and worrisome. Having a police officer charge you with a crime that may or may not be accurate could have severe ramifications for you. After this incident occurs, often times the next question someone has is, “Do I have to plead Guilty?”.
How Do You Plead?
Every DUI case varies and may turn out differently based on the circumstances of the DUI incident. Due to these variables, there is no one answer to all cases by any means, and the best option, in general, is to seek legal help through a defense attorney.
Usually, the first step in a DUI case is an arraignment. The judge typically asks whether the defendant intends to hire an attorney or would like a court-appointed lawyer. If you do not have an attorney on the initial court date, then the judge may set a new court date for the defendant to come back with an attorney and enter a plea to the charges. An individual usually either plea not guilty or no contest if they wish; however, this step is generally done with an attorney. A no-contest plea is essentially pleading guilty. However, you are not admitting to the charges; you are merely saying you will not fight them.
Many DUI cases are resolved by plea bargaining which can be beneficial to a defendant as well. This can potentially minimize the penalties against a defendant or even help get the charge reduced in some cases. Taking a DUI to trial is a process with heavier involvement from both you and your attorney.
What Should You Do Next?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI, the next best step to take is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer. The cost of fines combined with the cost of having a conviction on your record can be detrimental.At The Toney Law Firm, LLC, we may be able to help with your charges today. Call us today to talk to someone about setting up your defense for your case. (888) 473-4058.