Interviewer: Do people believe that pleading guilty would just “get it over with” and that they should just rely upon the “mercy of the court”?
Freddy: People think that the court will go into details of their case and know that they are basically good people and help them. This is sometimes true but is not normally the case. The court doesn’t usually have a vested interest in any particular case. A judge’s mission should be to remain fair to all. What the court really has is a long list of defendants coming forward on any given day.
This is how it practically works. You walk into a courtroom on the appointed day, and the court has a docket with from one (1) to hundred’s (100’s) of cases on it. The docket is just a calendar with the names and the court numbers and the warrant numbers of how many people are there that day.
Out of those potentially hundreds of people, they normally let the ones who are represented by attorneys go first. Everyone else usually has to wait. You could be there all day. At any point during the day they’ll call your name and ask do you plead guilty or not guilty and/or if you have an attorney. They haven’t looked at the crime in any real detail. They haven’t determined whether or not you really should be not guilty. They haven’t determined that you may even be innocent. They’ve just decided that if you plead guilty, they’re going to get you to pay a fine and/or go to jail and potentially add more in fines and court costs that day for the court. If you pay the fines and/or court costs, the court is going to get money from your case.
It can be important to have an attorney that goes to bat for you and someone that’s going to challenge the court on those things, so that you get the benefit of all of the protection the laws of the state or constitution allow(s). Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. You have a right to have an attorney to fight these charges, and that’s why there are so many attorneys because the system itself is not a perfect system; and in that it is an imperfect system, there are instances where good people can become trapped and not know what to do to protect themselves.
Everyone asks the question, “Why should I even have an attorney in the first place? Why should I call your law firm to help me?” This is what you’re going to get with us and this is something we know for certain with our law firm. Number one is, our knowledge of DUI. It’s not something that we’re dabbling in, or cases that we do every once in awhile. DUI cases are cases that I’m actively involved in within my practice.
By Freddy Woods