Plea Bargains in Mecklenburg Gun Cases
There are a few of different types of pleas available to someone who has been charged with a gun offense in Mecklenburg, namely Guilty, Not Guilty, No Contest, and an Alford Plea. If you are facing charges, a skilled local lawyer can explain the implications of each choice when it comes to plea bargains in Mecklenburg gun cases. Your options depend entirely on the details and circumstances of your particular case.
Difference Between Guilty and No Contest
There is not much technical difference between pleading guilty and no contest when considering plea bargains in a Mecklenburg gun case. If a defendant pleads guilty, the judge is going to immediately find them guilty. If the person pleads no contest, the judge will surmise they offered a plea of no contest with the understanding that they would be found guilty if tried.
Ultimately, it boils down to a preference: people prefer to say, “I am not contesting the evidence,” as opposed to, “I am guilty.” As for an actual trial taking place, the only way a case goes to trial is if a person pleads not guilty.
Effect on Criminal Record
Sometimes, choosing No Contest instead of Guilty may have an effect on the record of the defendant. Occasionally, the defense can do an evidence-sufficient style agreement on gun charges, such as the brandishing of a gun. In that case, the individual agrees to say that the evidence would be sufficient to find them guilty but requests that, instead of passing down a conviction, the court consider allowing the defendant to satisfy the penalty in some other way. Examples include:
- Community service
- Firearms safety course
- Good behavior
Important Plea Considerations
When it comes to deciding on plea bargains in Mecklenburg gun cases, people should consider what possible punishment they are looking at: is this something that is going to or could result in jail time, that is going to or could result in prison time, that is going to result in prison time because it entails a mandatory minimum sentence.
Bargaining Without an Attorney Present
It is infrequent that an accused individual chooses to proceed with the Mecklenburg gun plea bargains without the assistance of a lawyer. Prosecutors cannot speak directly with represented defendants.
In general, if a person does not have an attorney, they are more exposed to the maneuvering of the prosecution. Prosecuting attorneys are trained to gather information and to elicit admissions of guilt from the accused. Therefore, it is unwise to approach interactions with the prosecution without the help of an equally skilled and experienced defense attorney.
How an Attorney Can Help Mitigate Damages
The main job of an attorney is to evaluate the strengths of the case that the prosecution is bringing forward. From there, the next step is to decide whether or not to take the case to trial. If the case is strong, at that point, they will begin working to mitigate the damages.
They are going to want to open discussions on trying to get the case taken under advisement or trying to get the office of the Commonwealth Attorney to agree to amend it to a different charge, a lower charge, a charge that perhaps does not carry mandatory minimum incarceration time. Therefore, an attorney can play a crucial role when deciding how best to mitigate the damages and how to go about plea bargains in Mecklenburg gun cases, depending on the facts and circumstances of each individual case.