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Does the Court Require I Be Present to Enter a Plea in my Los Angeles Criminal Case?

  • September 1, 2017

    In Los Angeles, the law stipulates that when you are charged with a criminal offence, you should present yourself before the judge. An arraignment is a term used to denote the first time that one appears before the Judge. During the arraignment, you are provided with an explanation of the charges brought against you and the potential outcomes. It is after all the explanation has been completed that you are invited to enter a plea. You have latitude to choose to enter a plea of no contest, not guilty and guilty.
    When you present yourself to court for the first time, the prosecutor gives you an offer, which is commonly referred as plea bargain. The plea bargain contains a deal where you are asked to plead guilty in return of reduced charges by the government. Before making any decision on the plea bargain, it is prudent to make careful thoughts and considerations. Usually, the offer is considered to be a better deal compared to what one awaits if he or she goes to trial. This incentive is given to you with the objective of closing the case and enabling you to enter a plea, thus avoiding going to trial.
    A plea of no contest shows that the person charged is not accepting or denying the charge, but is ready to consent to any given sentence. Before deciding whether a plea bargain is right for you, it is prudent to take several factors into account. If do not have a criminal history, it would be a plus to plead guilty. You should also focus on the likelihood of the charge being dismissed or reduced if you go to trial. It is for this reason that you should seek the services of an experienced Los Angeles DUI or a criminal defense attorney.
    If you review the offer and find it to be a good, it is important to deliberate on the same with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney before making the final decision of accepting it. You are free to enter a plea of no contest or guilty for the case to be completed. However, if you are confident that there are higher chances that your case shall be dismissed, it is recommended that you enter a plea of not guilty. In this situation, you should be optimistic that there are no facts to prove that you are guilty. Before making the decision to plead not guilty and go to trial, it is highly advisable that you have a conversation with a legal professional. Such an expert has adequate experience to advise you whether the offer extended to you is best that you can get or there is no need risking it for trial.
    If you make a decision of entering a plea of not guilty and you are represented by an attorney, you may not need to appear in court. The attorney is free to enter the plea. However, the outcome of pleading not guilty depends on the preference of each court. Often, you may need to present yourself in court and say that your attorney has explicated the charges against you, the probable outcome and sentence that you have been given. You may also fill out a Tahl waiver. A Tahl Waiver highlights all the charges that have been brought against you, as well as the actual and potential consequences of the case and the reasons for being sentenced. It is prudent to read it carefully. Make sure that you initial each statement before taking it to a notary public for notarization. This way, you will not need to appear before the judge given that the Tahl Waiver takes your place.
    The courts take the issue of pleading guilty seriously. To this end, they must make sure that you comprehend the charges that you are pleading to and the likely consequences of your actions. If you are represented by an attorney, the judge will always ask whether they took the person being charged through the statement explaining everything contained therein. It is recommended that you enlist the services of an experienced Los Angeles Criminal lawyer to expound the actual meaning of pleading guilty. It is important to ensure that your rights are safeguarded and the decision made is in the best interest of yourself.

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