Pleading guilty at court after pretrial

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Pleading guilty at court after pretrial

by: Kurt_ on
Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:59 pm

Got a speeding ticket. Was reduced.

Is it possible to plead guilty at trial, after a motion for a stay has been denied, for the penalty on the ticket? Or will I plead guilty and be subject to the full fine/demerits for wasting their time?

I'd like to think I can last minute "okay, i'm guilty for 20 over" after i try to bluff my way out of a 41 over but before trial takes place.
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by: highwaystar on
Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:57 pm

You can pay your fine any time BEFORE you are arraigned (i.e. the moment charges are read to you in court and you are asked to plea). If you pay the ticket outside the court, then the 'set fine' rate (the amounts on your ticket) apply. However, if you plead guilty in court, then the 'statutory rates' apply (which are a bit higher).

In your situation, if your motion is denied, upon being arraigned, you would simply state 'guilty' and the statutory rates would apply. So, you'd end up paying a bit more since the amounts listed on your ticket are the 'set fine' rates.

Just know that you cannot plead guilty to a lesser or different offence without the prosecutor's permission and the certificate (i.e. the charge) being amended. So, for instance, if your ticket is for 40 over, saying I'm only guilty of 20 over doesn't end the matter. At that point, the prosecutor either agrees with your guilty plea, or can proceed with a trial to prove the offence YOU are being charged with (or may even seek an amendment for a higher speed rate). If your ticket is for 20 over but the officer dropped it down from 40 over, you can plead guilty (since you are only charged with 20 over). The moment you say not guilty or don't give a definitive guilty plea to the 20 over, the prosecutor will undoubtedly request an amendment to bring the charge back up to 40 over and your trial will start.

So, bottom line: if you intend to plead guilty upon losing your motion, then just simply say 'guilty' upon being arraigned. Otherwise, you could complicate matters and be faced with a trial and/or amended speed rates.
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