Do not plead Guilty, like ABT did on 17 feb, It does not make you appear to be honest, it makes you appear unfamiliar with the legal system. It helps the state, because now they got the guilty verdict. You are guilty, you said so. The Judge must find you guilty, or give a PBJ. Probation Before Judgment=PBJ
For the protection of our TF brothers, I am creating THIS thread, about court pleadings [pleas]. The Judge will ask you very early in the trial " How do you Plead" ? This is not polite conversation, it is an important legal pronuncement.
IF YOU PLEAD GUILTY, YOU ARE SAYING / ADMITTING THAT YOU ARE GUILTY. The State no longer has to convince the Judge, You have saved them a lot of trouble, and shot yourself in the foot. The Judge no longer has the power to Pronounce you "not guilty". Ask capn Brady, He knows this stuff also.
The legal language confuses most people, and they make mistakes. If you are innocent, and you want the Judge to believe that you are innocent: plead respectfully not guilty.
After you plead not guilty, the state must prove that you are guilty to a 96% certainty. If their witnesses falter, or are not present, you get off with no fines, no costs. If the state fails to convince the Judge on just one required element or part of the charge, You win! If ABT had plead not guilty, The Judge might have pronounced him not guilty, because he did not put his crab pot in a restricted area.
In the Wilkens case on 17 Feb, He plead not guilty, [ he has been around ], and the prosecution failed to convince the Judge, that he was not looking ahead. The young boys were out joy riding at 11:30, with inadequate running lights. Wilkens may have looked, and not seen them!
Tom says: practice in front of a mirror: Keep your eyes straight to the Judge, "Respectfully not guilty". Looking down, sideways, mumbleing, and figeting are bad things to do at this time. Clear Loud voice: Respectfully not guilty Your Honor.
Tom says: When in doubt, or confused Plead NOT Guilty.
If this is not clear, or you have questions, make a quick reply to this thread.