Hendersonville, NC asked in Criminal Law for North Carolina

Q: In a criminal case what does the original guilty or not guilty plea weigh on your judgement

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mr. Damon Chetson
Mr. Damon Chetson
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Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Your question is a bit unclear. Your original plea doesn't officially affect your judgment, but would be reflected on the judgment to indicate how you pled.

But certainly the fact that you pled guilty can be taken into account by a sentencing judge in fashioning an appropriate sentence. In the federal system, for instance, a person who pleads guilty often receives explicit credit (called Acceptance of Responsibility) that can significantly reduce a sentence.

In North Carolina state courts, a judge, even in what's called an "open plea" can take into account the fact that you pled guilty and accepted responsibility in deciding how to sentence you.

In addition, a guilty plea will affect the kind of appellate rights you might have. In a guilty plea, a defendant often waives many of his or her appellate rights because he or she is not contesting certain issues in the case. That waiver may include certain pleading defects. Discuss this with your lawyer.

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