Top Errors People Usually Make In New Jersey Municipal Court

When it comes to legal cases, there is a tendency for many people to make snap decisions without fully understanding the charges or the consequences for them. As such, below are the top errors that are frequently made in municipal court and how you can avoid them.

Pleading Guilty Without Fully Understanding the Charges

While there are times when pleading guilty is a good idea, there are too many instances where people do it without fully understanding the charges, and the same is true for plea bargains. The plea bargain is a type of agreement where you’re given the chance to plead guilty for a reduced charge to lower your maximum sentence.

For example, an agreement is made with a prosecutor where you plead guilty to a charge that gets you a reduced penalty  instead of the potential maximum penalty. The problem with plea bargains is that those who are innocent are sometimes coerced into pleading guilty for crimes they didn’t commit. If you are convinced of your innocence it is better to go to trial.

Not Performing the Pre-Trial Conference

Many people don’t realize that when you go before a judge you can request the pre-trial conference, which is a meeting where you get to speak with a prosecutor so that the case can be negotiated. These conferences are important because they give you the opportunity to make a deal with the prosecutor where certain conditions or charges may be lowered or dismissed completely. However, bear in mind that anything you say may be used to oppose you, so always choose your words carefully.

Failing to Hire Legal Counsel

This is one of the most tragic mistakes that a person can make because every person has the right to a lawyer whether they can afford one or not. Even a public defender is better than having no lawyer at all. The benefit of having legal counsel is that they can provide mediation while guiding you through the complex juridical world in a manner that will maximize the likelihood of winning your case, and the better the attorney, the more likely you’ll get a desirable outcome.

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