What is the Arraignment Process?
This is the first time that a defendant is charged with a crime for formally enter a plea. He or she has several options on what pleas to enter at the arraignment stage. The first plea than can be entered is a guilty plea. This means that the defendant admits his or her guilt and the judge would then sentence the defendant. The second fee the criminal defendant can enter at the time of arraignment stage is a not guilty plea. This means that the defendant denies guilt and the case will be set for the next stage which is usually a pre-trial conference or a pre-disposition. The other plea that a defendant can enter in the arraignment process is a no contest plea. In some jurisdictions, they call it a no low contender. With a plea of no contest, the defendant does not admit guilt, but concedes the government can prove a prima facie case against him; it’s not a guilty plea, but a plea of no contest. In some jurisdictions, a plea of no contest is called a best interest plea. That means the defendant admits that they can prove a case against him or her but enter to plea because they believe it’s in their best interest to do so. If the defendant enters a no contest plea, the judge will then sentence the criminal defendant. If the enter a not guilty plea, the case will be bound for trial, one more step, such as a pre-trial conference or a disposition.
The criminal defense attorneys at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. are fighting for our clients rights in criminal defense cases in Clearwater, Tampa, Bradenton, Spring Hill, Pinellas, Pasco, New Port Richey, Manatee, Hillsborough and Hernando Counties in Florida.
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Kevin Hayslett, Esq.
J. Kevin Hayslettis an attorney practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and DUI Defense from the Clearwater office and Hillsborough office. Kevin is an avid tennis player and is currently nationally rated in singles and doubles. You can follow Kevin onGoogle+, oron Radio IO on his show, "Kevin's Law". Kevin can also be heard on the Sirius Satellite Radio show during the "Ask the Lawyer" segment, which can be heard the first Thursday of every month.