Why did the Judge automatically put in a not guilty plea on my behalf?

I had an arraignment hearing this morning and the judge automatically put in a not guilty plea. When Iasked about it they told me that it was in my best interests. I am guilty so I was going to plead guilty but never had a chance. My charge is possession of marijuana. Please make some sense out of this for me. Ihave a pre-trail conference next month and I have no case to fight this. What can Iexpect at this pre-trial? Are we going to discuss a plea bargain? I have no attorney and can’t afford one.

Asked on July 13, 2010 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ok so since you did not have an attorney at your arraignment the Judge made sure that he preserved your rights until such time that you could consult with one.  you have a constitutional right to have an attorney in a criminal action so if you can not afford one then the court should appoint one on your behalf.  Or go and see if you qualify for Legal Aid in your area.  even if you think that you have "no case" you have rights of which you need to be advised.  An attorney can let you know what your options are in the form of a sentence or plea agreement he or she can make, how each agreement will effect your criminal record (or maybe no criminal record if you are lucky) and how to have the arrest expunged or the matter sealed if you qualify.  Go get help.  It is available and the Judge did you a solid.


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