When a Florida resident is arrested for committing a crime, they will generally be arraigned in court. During their arraignment, the court will inquire as to what plea the individual will offer and although there can be alternate pleas offered individuals generally either claim to be guilty or not guilty. While an outright admission of guilt may preclude the need for a trial and may send a person to the punishment phase of their criminal processing, a not guilty plea may set them up for a longer endeavor into the criminal justice system.
When a person claims to be not guilty, they force the prosecutors on their case to prove the elements of their alleged crimes. Only after proving a case may a person who has pled not guilty be convicted. Before arriving at this outcome, though, some individuals may consider changing their pleas to avoid the more serious consequences that may attach if they complete the entire trial process.
If a person negotiates a deal with their prosecutors to reduce their charges or for an attempt to secure less serious sanctions, they may consider switching their plea from guilty to not guilty. Plea negotiations are one way that the two sides of a criminal legal matter may work together to avoid trial, find fair and reasonable outcomes and help individuals avoid the most serious punishments handed down by the criminal courts.
As every criminal case is different readers, who are interested in plea negotiations and deals are asked to discuss their legal issues with criminal defense attorneys. Lawyers who provide these important services can advise their clients on the suitability of plea negotiations in their cases and how such processes may serve their interests.