Entering a Plea of Not Guilty
A plea of "Not Guilty" means that you are informing the Court that you deny guilt and the State (Prosecutor's Office) must prove the criminal charge(s) against you.
Under our American system of justice, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. On a plea of "Not Guilty," a pre-trial conference will be scheduled, followed by a trial setting. At trial, the State will be required to present evidence to prove all charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt.
- If you plead "Not Guilty," you must decide whether to employ an attorney to represent you. You may defend yourself, but no one except an attorney may represent you.
- In certain types of cases, a court appointed attorney may be provided for you. In those cases, if you feel that you cannot afford an attorney and wish representation, you may fill out an application requesting that an attorney be appointed to represent you.
- If an attorney is appointed to represent you, you may be ordered to contribute to the cost of your attorney.
- If you choose to represent yourself, please consult this brochure carefully regarding trial procedure and the proper manner of presenting your case.