There are three general types of pleas available to you in a Mississippi case. You may not realize all of the various aspects of going through a trial when accused of a DUI. But you should educate yourself by retaining a lawyer who has served many other clients in a similar capacity.
The first plea is taken on a date known as your arraignment, which is also known as your first court appearance. During the arraignment, the court will ask you how you intend to plead. If you plead guilty, the court then proceeds to make a finding of guilty and assesses court costs, fines and a jail sentence. If you plead not guilty, the court will give you a trial date.
You will then appear in court at a later time and you may be eligible to change your plea from not guilty to guilty. Also, you can plead no contest but it is recommended that you talk to your Starkville criminal defense attorney to determine whether or not this is in your best interests. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will make a finding of guilty or not guilty, at the justice court or municipal level. A trial only ensues if you have a plea of not guilty and it can be a big mistake to plead guilty early on in the trial before you know all of the different facts.
For example, if the police officers made a mistake in pulling you over or in collecting evidence that is now being used as the primary basis to accuse you of a DUI, this could be used in your criminal defense strategy. If there is a guilty plea or no contest plea made, then the court will proceed to make the finding of guilt and will impose a jail term and fine that is consistent with the crime itself. You need to understand the type of charges you are currently facing and how to best proceed when you have any type of criminal charge in Starkville, particularly if this is your second or subsequent DUI.