Guilty Pleas and Plea Bargaining

Before you enter a guilty plea and/or accept a plea bargain, there are a few things you should be aware of. First, if you do not have a Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney representing you in the matter, you should seek one out at least to discuss the terms of your potential plea bargain. This can help you avoid pit falls in the law you may not be aware of. Sometimes a plea you are offered by the prosecution may not be your best case scenario and you may be able to do better or receive a better outcome with the assistance of a qualified lawyer. There is typically a lot on the line if you have been charged with a crime, whether that be a DUI, marijuana charge, domestic violence, or something more serious such as a felony. Thus, it can’t be overstated the importance of having someone in your corner before you potentially make the mistake of entering a guilty plea or accepting the offer of the prosecution.

Types of Pleas

There are essentially 7 kinds of pleas in Utah:

  1. guilty
  2. not guilty
  3. no contest
  4. not guilty by reason of insanity
  5. guilty and mentally ill at the time of the offense
  6. not guilty of the crime charged but guilty of a lesser included offense
  7. not guilty of the crime charged but guilty of a lesser included offense and mentally ill

Some of the above stated pleas may be self explanatory while others might not be readily understood by the public. At Salcido Law Firm we can advise of all your potential plea options and the best course of action.

Advisement of Rights

A judge in Utah may not accept a guilty plea unless the court finds the defendant voluntarily entered the plea, knows of his/her rights being waived, and has been advised of the limited rights of appeal. As your lawyer, we go through the details of your potential plea bargaining including the rights you are waiving as a result. We work to ensure our clients are well aware of what they are doing long before they make the decision to plead guilty or otherwise proceed in their case. It is also important to note that entering a guilty plea waives all non jurisdictional defects including challenge of a judge for bias.

For more information or to review or particular offer with a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Utah from our office, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a ring anytime of the day or night. We are here to help.

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