If I plead guilty what will happen?

At an arraignment hearing, most people charged with a criminal offense enter a not guilty plea. This allows more time to acquire an attorney, review the police reports, investigate the charge, and consider possible diversion options or sentencing recommendation of the prosecutor. Once more information is provided, a person may decide to enter a guilty plea- typically at a later pre-trial hearing.

If you plead guilty it means you admit the charge and elements to prove the charge. By pleading guilty you waive your constitutional rights and in most cases will be sentenced right then. However, you may speak on your behalf at sentencing. The Judge will then usually review the police report, if available, and sentence you.

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1. What should I wear and how should I act in court?
2. What is an arraignment?
3. What are my constitutional rights?
4. My car was impounded when I was arrested for a DUI - where is it?
5. Should I talk to a lawyer before entering a plea?
6. What if I am financially unable to hire a lawyer? How do I qualify for a public defender?
7. If I plead guilty what will happen?
8. What happens if I plead not guilty?
9. What happens if I am sentenced to jail?
10. What alternatives are there for serving a jail sentence?
11. What must I do if I can't pay my entire fine at sentencing?
12. What is the process for sealing records and vacating convictions?
13. I missed court and have a bench warrant. How do I quash the bench warrant?