Hello friend. My name is Ely, and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight
delay between your follow ups and my replies.
I am very sorry for your situation.How do I plead?
NOT GUILTY. This is because if you plead guilty, the matter is automatically over before you even can make a case for yourself. If this is your first criminal
charge - and it sounds like it is - you have options.
Understand that the hearing coming up is called a "setting," and it is one of SEVERAL that you will have. The court will reset your matter several time s(3-5) to allow you to negotiate with the prosecutor (called an assistant district attorney, or ADA) for a "plea deal." Then, either a plea deal is struck, or you go to trial
If this case gets to trial, the prosecutor is likely to get a conviction if you are indeed guilty. However...Your Leverage
The prosecutor is normally very backed up. They are handling literally dozens of cases at once. Setting a matter for trial - jury trial, more so - is a serious issue since they have little time to prepare, file the proper motions, and generally make room for the trial to happen. They also do not want to spend time on a relatively minor case, which yours is.Negotiation
Recall how I had mentioned negotiation as one of the options. Very often, individuals in your situation are given a "plea deal," if they have little/no criminal record
. Individuals in your situation are very likely to be offered two possibilities:
1. Deferred Adjudication (which dismisses the charge if you simply are not charged/convicted of anything else in 6 months to a year, but, pay court costs); or
2. A plea deal for something else.
Allow your attorney to negotiate for you. May I recommend the Texas Bar referral program - here
. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.
But again, at your first hearing, you want to plead NOT GUILTY.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.
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