Not Guilty Plea
If you have been arrested in the Philadelphia area, your case will work its way through Pennsylvania’s legal system, proceeding through multiple steps that begin with a preliminary arraignment.
The steps in this process go all the way up through a trial and sentencing. But it is likely your case will not proceed through every level. At any time during this process, your case can be settled.
What A Not Guilty Plea Means
If you decide to plead not guilty, your case will go to trial.
A not guilty plea means you disagree with the charges brought against you. In Pennsylvania, with the exception of some DUI offenses if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony you have the right to a jury trial.
By Pennsylvania law your case will need to be brought to trial within six months. If it isn’t, you will be released from prison. If your case hasn’t gone to trial within a year, your charges will be dismissed.
At your trial:
- A jury comprised of 12 of your peers will be chosen during jury selection by your defense attorney and the prosecutor. After the jury is selected, the trial can begin.
- At your trial, both the defense and the prosecution will have the opportunity to present their sides of the case and call witnesses.
- After closing arguments, the judge will instruct the jury. The jury will then withdraw to deliberate. They will return a guilty or not guilty verdict on each count.
- Following the verdict, if you are found guilty the judge will hand down your punishment at sentencing.
- If you are found not guilty, you will be set free.
Questions? Contact us today.
As your case moves through Pennsylvania’s legal system, you need an experienced attorney to defend you. Fienman Defense provides honest communication and gives you the solid guidance you need to avoid severe penalties.