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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27767
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Is it always better to plead guilty at a dv arraignement,

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is it always better to plead guilty at a dv arraignement
JA: In what state did this occur?
Customer: california
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no the arrest was today and arraignement is in two days
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: does self defense can be used to prove a not guilty plea?


I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

Even if you know you are guilty and want to take a plea, the only plea you should take at your arraignment is NOT GUILTY. Anything else will give you an immediate criminal conviction and the judge can sentence you to whatever he wants because the second you admit your guilt you lose control of the case.

Under our law, every criminal defendant walks into court innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That entitles each and every criminal defendant to plead not guilty at his arraignment. That's what is, in fact, expected of him as it's the only plea that keeps all of his rights open so that he can get advised by a lawyer as to the strengths and weaknesses of his case and make an informed decision as to how to proceed.

If he doesn't want a trial and is willing to plead guilty, by pleading not guilty he can then have his lawyer confer with the prosecutor and work out a deal he can be happy with. Then he can withdraw his plea of not guilty and enter a plea of guilty to the charge agreed upon to get the promised disposition.

If you can afford a lawyer, have one with you at your arraignment so that you can learn about all of your rights and choices, because neither the judge nor the prosecutor will explain all of those to you. They have different agendas from yours. If you cannot afford a lawyer plead not guilty to keep your rights open and ask the judge to appoint you a public defender. He will do so and adjourn the case for another date so that you can talk to your lawyer.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Does pleading not guilty will affect my chances to obtain a (reasonable) bail after the arraignment?

No. It will not. The judge will expect you to plead not guilty as it's the only correct plea to make at your arraignment.

Your right to plead not guilty is protected by the Constitution. YOu walk into court not guilty and you can maintain that position until you choose to take a plea or go to trial and get a verdict.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
can i submit an affidavit of non prosecution for my husband or will this not affect his domestic violence case?

Sorry for the delay. YOur reply came through after midnight where I am located, and I had turned off my computer for the night by then.

If you are the alleged victim of the crime, you can submit an affidavit of non-prosecution. However, once the state has become involved, the case does not belong to you anymore but to the prosecutor. He or she is free to go forward with the matter, even over your objection to go forward. YOu can be subpoenaed and compelled to testify against your husband, even if you don't want to, or face contempt charges for ignoring the court order.

You should make your feelings about this case known to the prosecutor if you don't want to go forward, either by an affidavit or by making an appointment with the prosecutor and telling him or her in person. Either way, it's important that as a result of your affidavit or visit you convince him or her that you will not be at risk of harm if the charges are dropped and the protective order lifted. Also it's important that the prosecutor know that you're coming forward to drop the charges of your own free will and not because your spouse has bullied you into it.

If the prosecutor insists on going forward after you've made your intentions clear, talk to your husband's lawyer and let him or her know that you've been trying to drop but the prosecutor won't let you. He'll take it from there. Ask him what you can do to help.

In my experience, once the defense attorney and the alleged victim of the crime start holding hands and pressuring the prosecutor to dismiss the case, something favorable to all parties can typically be worked out.

Best of luck with the case!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
hello, would it be possible to ask for a signature bond at the arraignment and, if so, would letters from friends and family confirming the ties that the defendant has with his community, family and work help?

If the defendant is already at liberty, then as long as he shows up at his arraignment, bond shouldn't be an issue. He would typically be able to remain out on his own recognizance. Otherwise, yes. Strong ties to the community are one thing that a judge will look at when they are preparing to make a bail determination. Friends and family showing up at the arraignment or writing letters confirming ties may be helpful. So would the fact that you have been seeking to drop the case, since the strength of the state's case is another element that the judge will look at.

Give the letters to the defense lawyer and make sure he knows you are trying to drop charges.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
the defendant will most likely not be able to get a public defendant for his arraingnment, so he will have to formulate the request to the judge on his own. He is currently in custody under a 53,000$ bond. Could he request to be released on his own recognizance to the judge without a lawyer at the arraignment or should he ask for a bond hearing once the judge inform him on the bond? Thank you

In many jurisdictions across the country, public defenders are assigned to arraignments as a matter of course and they are there specifically to handle unrepresented jail cases. So the defendant may have a lawyer. YOu can call the court clerk and find out whether there will be a public defender in the court for him.

He can certainly request to be released on his own recognizance if he has no lawyer assigned, but the less he says about his case, the better since anything he says on his own behalf can be used against him. If he has no lawyer, he should plead not guilty and let the judge know he needs a public defender appointed. He can ask for release at that point or ask to reserve a bail application until he has a lawyer or ask for a hearing on the bond.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

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