Dr. Conrad Murray Pleads Not Guilty in Michael Jackson Case. #Criminal Procedure


The State v. Murray Involuntary Manslaughter case has gone through its preliminary hearing. So what next in the criminal proceeding?

The ARRAIGNMENT. Here, the court reads the charges filed in the complaint to the defendant. If the defendant cannot afford a lawyer, the court appoints one for him/her. The court then ask how a defendant pleads. Guilty or not guilty?

This is where we are.

Now let’s take the arraignment apart, a bit.

For those worked up over the fact that Dr. Murray pled guilty, this is very routine practice in criminal cases. Criminal defense lawyers are not going to advice their clients to plead guilty at the onset of a case. It is considered lazy “lawyering” and depending on the facts, can tip to incompetent representation. To really simplify it, there is an investigative process that must take place where both sides gather as much information as possible to see the strength of their case. For the defendant, the fact gathering allows him/her to be well informed about his/her case before deciding whether to plead guilty.

If you have been charged with a crime, get a criminal defense lawyer to represent you. You never want to plead “guilty” without first discussing your case with a lawyer.

When the judge asked Murray for his plea, he said, “Your Honor, I am an innocent man,” adding, “I therefore plead not guilty.”

Judge Michael Pastor ruled earlier this month that there is enough evidence to force Murray to stand trial.

Today’s brief arraignment is part of the process.

The trial date is set for March 28.

If convicted, Murray faces a maximum of four years in prison. ~TMZ