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Bouldin Law Firm
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Help, I Don't Want To Plead Guilty!

As a trial attorney for over 20 years I receive at least a few calls each year from defendants who have been charged and their attorney is recommending that they plead guilty.  Often these defendants even say, "My attorney wants me to plead guilty" or "My attorney is making me plead guilty."  The worst is, "My attorney made me plea." First, no attorney can MAKE a defendant plead guilty to anything.  The job of the attorney is to take any potential negotiated deal to the client and the client makes the choice of whether to accept or reject the plea offer.  When you stand in front of the judge and he asks your plea, in nearly every case the defendant is required to answer. At that one juncture, your attorney can seldom speak on your behalf. If you are unhappy with the advice of your attorney, you are free to change attorneys.  You have the right to an attorney and to hire an attorney of your choosing.  If you cannot afford an attorney, the state is required to appoint you an attorney, referred to as a public advocate or public defender.  If you request a public defender, you do not get to pick that attorney.  However, you can fire that attorney and hire an attorney of your own.  If your hired or appointed counsel is pushing a plea or does not want to take the case to trial, ask him/her why.   Different attorneys charge varying rates for criminal defense, and DUI/OVI is no different.  Most criminal defense attorneys charge an initial retainer and may have additional fee if the case proceeds to trial.  If your case is already set for trial, the new attorney may ask for a continuance.  The granting of the continuance is in the discretion of the court.  Many attorneys will not jump into a case without a more substantial retainer if the case is already set for trial.  An experienced and local attorney will know which judge(s) may allow for a continuance and which will mandate that the case proceeds to trial on the selected date. If you do not want to plead guilty, DON'T.  You have the right to a trial and the right to have a jury hear the evidence.  If your case is defensible, pick an attorney that can present that defense and has a history of trying cases to a jury.  For a consultation in Northern Kentucky, call Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or email at [email protected].  Call Mike at 581-MIKE.

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