Once a Jacksonville Criminal Defendant is arrested and goes through his first appearance/bond hearing, the State Attorney’s Office will determine whether or not former charges will be filed. In most cases, charges are filed through an information, which is a formal charging document. If charges are filed, the Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer will enter a plea of guilty, no contest, or not guilty on the defendant’s behalf.
If the Jacksonville Criminal Defendant pleads guilty, he or she is admitting his guilt and will be sentenced. If the Jacksonville Criminal Defendant pleads no contest (nolo contendere), he or she is not admitting guilty, but is entering the plea as a matter of convenience. The defendant will still be sentenced as if he or she entered a guilty plea. Additionally, the no contest plea will have the same legal ramifications as a guilty plea. If the Jacksonville Criminal Defendant pleads not guilty, he will not be sentenced at this time. Instead, he will contest the charges and may change his guilty plea at a later date, depending on the circumstances of his Jacksonville Criminal Case.
Once a defendant pleads guilty, he or she has several decisions to make (read Jacksonville Criminal Attorney Discusses Pleading Not Guilty).
If you are facing criminal charges in Jacksonville, Florida or the surrounding counties, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer to review your case and discuss with the strengths and weaknesses in your case.