At a Mecklenburg County gun arraignment, the judge informs the defendant of the charges against them and allows the defendant to enter a plea. The judge also determines whether the accused plans to hire their own attorney or seek a court-appointed attorney and considers the financial resources of the accused.
Mecklenburg County prosecutors and judges consider gun charges to be extremely serious due to their association with violence or the possibility of violence. The judge takes that into consideration when they decide whether an accused is a flight risk or a danger to the public. To be a flight risk is to be considered at high risk of running or avoiding coming to the court date, disappearing, and trying to avoid facing the charges in court.
The most important part of the arraignment hearing is the entrance of a plea, which dictates how the case will proceed. The pleas available to every defendant are:
A not guilty plea means the individual wants the charges to be proven against them beyond a reasonable doubt. A guilty plea is an admission of guilt. A no contest plea is an admission that there may be enough evidence to convict the individual if the prosecution’s evidence is believed, but the plea is not an admission of guilt.
A defendant should never plead guilty to a gun charge without first consulting an attorney. Gun charges are serious and carry considerable consequences beyond incarceration, including limitations on housing and employment later in life. It is important to consider how pleading guilty affects one’s ability to own a gun in the future how that affects future employment and one’s personal life after the sentence is carried out.
In some cases, a defendant’s attorney may be able to negotiate with prosecutors and reach a plea bargain. A plea bargain depends entirely on the specific facts of each case and the circumstances and personal history of each defendant. It is possible to enter into a plea agreement for a lesser gun charge with reduced consequences for an individual. It is also possible that a plea bargain involves pleading to entirely different charges.
A person cannot plea bargain without an attorney. Prosecutors do not negotiate with people who represent themselves. If you are worried about facing a conviction in court, a gun attorney
The more information an attorney has about their client, the better they can assist the client at a bond hearing. For instance, when a gun charge is a person’s first criminal offense, the attorney may argue that their client was never a danger to the public and is a law-abiding citizen. Each client has circumstances that the attorney may offer to the court as reasoning for a mitigated sentence.
If you are scheduled for a Mecklenburg County gun arraignment, you should have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. Reach out today for legal counsel prior to your court date.