There are three different types of pleas that may apply in a DUI case. All of these should be carefully considered with the help of a Starkville DUI attorney as soon as possible after you have been charged. This gives you the best possible chance to avoid a conviction on your record and the other consequences associated with being found guilty. The first plea is known as an arraignment date, which is typically your first court appearance. Before you say anything in front of the court, make sure you’ll be able to talk things over with your lawyer.
The court will ask how you plead at that time. If you plead guilty, then they will make a finding of guilty and assess court costs, fines and your jail sentence. If you plead not guilty, the court will assign you a trial date. When you show up in court at a later date, you could change your plea from not guilty to guilty or you may plead nolo, this means no contest. In any of these situations, a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest, the judge is still responsible for making a finding. It is only in the case of you pleading not guilty however, that a trial will follow. At the conclusion of that trial, the judge will make a finding of not guilty or guilty at the justice court or municipal level. If there is a no-contest or guilty plea made, then the judge imposes a fine and makes a finding of guilt. Your jail term will then be consistent with existing law on the books about DUIs.
If you have questions about how to pursue a DUI and the best way to protect yourself in this situation, you need to hire an attorney who has a track record of properly representing individuals in this situation and giving them full and fair attention over the duration of their case. Do not wait to get help from an experienced DUI attorney in Starkville because your very future and ability to avoid a conviction may depend on it and time is of the essence.