Accidentally sent a plea of NOT GUILTY along with a check to cover the fine. Can I change my plea to guilty and avoid court?
3 attorney answers
I agree with my colleagues. There is a good chance that you could strike a deal that puts you in a better situation than you would be with a straight guilty plea. Your chances increase if you are represented by an attorney. Additionally, pleading guilty to a traffic offense could adversely impact your driver's license (points and/or a suspension), depending on the specific offense.
Be sure you fully understand what you are doing -- and all of your options -- before you do anything.
Now to directly answer your question: yes, you can change your plea to "guilty" if you wish. Place a call to the District Court and advise them of your intentions. They may require that you send something in writing to change the plea to guilty. Alternatively, if you choose to not show up for your court matter on a summary offense hearing, you will be found guilty in absentia, meaning that you will be convicted of the offense and the money you send will be applied toward the fines & costs. Again, I am not recommending this course of action, but I did want to specifically respond to your question.
The information above, though authoratiative and based on years of education, training and experience is not intended as legal advice, nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between the responder and the poster of the question. As always, when you have a legal issue you should consult a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.
Why would you want to plead guilty?
You should (a) consult a lawyer to make sure there are no points or license suspension associated with your plea first; (b) show up anyway because there's no way it's going to get worse. It can only get better. Maybe the cop will give you a deal (much more likely if you have an attorney with you).
You should make sure there is no points and no suspension associated with the ticket before pleading guilty. Some Lehigh judges will let a lawyer appear in court for you. Good luck