If you are charged with a crime, it doesn’t mean that you are guilty. However, you do have the right to plead guilty or no contest if you feel that it is in your best interest to do so. You’ll likely want to know what you can expect to happen after being taken into custody by New Jersey authorities.
Enter a plea
During an arraignment, you will be given an opportunity to plead guilty, not guilty or no contest to any charges that you face. If you plead guilty or no contest, a sentencing date will be scheduled. However, if you plead not guilty, a trial date will be set. There is a chance that you will be released from custody until your case is resolved.
Go through the legal process
Typically, a defendant is freed immediately after being found not guilty by a jury. However, if you are found guilty, you will be required to take part in an evaluation designed to help the judge craft a fair sentence. On the sentencing date, the judge will announce the final disposition in the case. The final disposition will list your plea, the details of your punishment and any other important notes. For instance, it might state that you entered a guilty plea and were sentenced to 30 days in jail with credit for time served.
A criminal defense attorney may be able to help you obtain a favorable outcome in your case whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. Legal counsel might get evidence suppressed or cast doubt upon evidence used during a trial. This may be enough to earn a full acquittal or to create leverage to negotiate a plea deal that keeps you out of jail or prison.