Guilty and not guilty are the types of pleas that everyone knows, but there are a few other options that you might not know of. New Jersey has conditional pleas and allows for withdrawal of a plea.
You could plead guilty during your initial hearing before your trial. However, the judge doesn’t have to accept your guilty plea. It’s possible that the judicial system may still want to put you through a trial to investigate the legitimacy of your plea. New Jersey criminal defense law requires that the court checks that you are pleading guilty of your own volition with an understanding of the consequences of your charge. The state must also confirm that you really are guilty based on the facts of the case.
Withdrawal of plea
It’s possible to withdraw your guilty plea in New Jersey. This is to protect people who were coerced into pleading guilty. In some situations, the court allows the withdrawal of a plea after sentencing when there is sufficient evidence to prove a person’s innocence.
A conditional plea allows room to withdraw your guilty plea and file an appeal. It essentially means that you’re admitting you might be guilty, but you want the court to investigate and gather sufficient evidence to sentence you.
New Jersey sometimes permits plea agreements, which is the same as plea bargains. You would admit guilt in exchange for a reduced sentence.
When you plead not guilty, you usually need to go through a trial to prove your innocence. If you were to stay quiet when the judge asks for your plea, then they will take it as not guilty and proceed to investigate the facts of the case.
A criminal trial in New Jersey provides options for different types of pleas besides guilty and not guilty. You may want to thoroughly understand your options before coming to a decision on how you plea.