When you plead “not guilty,” you’re telling the prosecution they’ll have to work harder to prove your guilt by going to trial. Even while making this plea, many defendants are still intimidated by the idea of going to trial, perhaps because they aren’t sure what happens next.
In this blog post, we’re going to explain what happens after a “not guilty” plea and hopefully ease some of your uncertainty. After all, if you’re pleading innocence, the trial is supposed to be a good thing and a way to free yourself from the accusation against you. Your plea will put the following steps into motion (not necessarily in this order):

Trial Date

Your case will be assigned to a pretrial and/or trial day. However, the case can still be dropped even after the date is set.

Type of Trial

There are two types of trials: bench trial and jury trial. In a bench trial, your case is heard only by a judge, not a jury. As the defendant, you are often able to choose which kind of trial you want, depending on the specifics of your case. In Georgia, as long as you have filed a defense, you can request a trial by jury. Research the pros and cons of both trial types and discuss them with your lawyer before deciding.

Pretrial Motions

If a pretrial hearing was scheduled, the prosecution and defense meet on the scheduled day to make particular arguments before the judge about evidence, testimonies, and the case in general. They can even present a motion to dismiss, should they have good reason.

Jury Selection

If you choose a jury trial, the judge, prosecution, and defense all take part in selecting the jury. Lawyers are particularly helpful at this stage, as they have experience in screening potential jurors. Choosing your own jurors can be a lot of pressure.

Trial

Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution, not you. To maintain your innocence during the trial, your lawyer may cross-examine your arresting officer or present evidence on your behalf. Trials are complicated, and even after learning more about the process, you may still have reservations about going to trial. That’s where we step in. Castan & Lecca can represent your interests and provide exceptional defense for you each step of the way. Every case has its own nuances, which is why we recommend consulting a criminal defense lawyer about yours rather than just relying on general information about criminal defense cases. Don’t hesitate to ask us questions specific to your situation. Contact us online or call 404-923-7570 for a free consultation, no strings attached. We’re here to protect you.
(864)761-4141

MICHAEL BOESCHEN

Attorney

Michael Boeschen (Mike) was born in Wichita, KS and raised in Chattanooga, TN. Mike graduated from The McCallie School and went on to study history, Spanish, and Latin American Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. After graduation, he went on to pursue a law degree from the University Of Georgia School Of Law. During law school, Mike participated in the Legal Aid Clinic, assisting in the defense of indigent criminal defendants. Mike has been licensed to practice law in Georgia since 2002 and his main practice area consists of representing injured workers as they navigate through the Georgia workers’ compensation system. Mike is also fluent in Spanish. In his spare time Mike enjoys following soccer, cooking, and spending time with his wife and two young daughters. Mike and his family are parishioners of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Sandy Springs, GA

CHRISTIAN PECONE

Attorney

ED DENKER

Attorney

Edward Denker was born in Philadelphia, PA but has made Georgia his home since 1999. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. He then earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia. Edward spent his first years in practice representing clients in personal injury and wrongful death claims. He then spent more than a decade honing his litigation skills representing employers and insurers in workers’ compensation claims, where he gained immense experience and knowledge of how insurers defend those claims. In 2017, Edward returned to his passion of representing people who have been injured at work or through the negligence of others. When he isn’t working, Edward enjoys spending time with his wife and their two children. He is also an avid sports fan, and enjoys cooking and travel

ILIANA DOBREV

Attorney

Iliana Dobrev was born in Bulgaria. After high school, she immigrated to the United States to study law. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State University with a Bachelor’s in political science concentrating on pre-law and minoring in Spanish. In 2015, she graduated from Georgia State University College of Law. While in law school, Iliana completed a Graduate Research Assistantship in Labor and Employment Law and Employment Discrimination and two externships in Immigration Law. As an immigrant herself, Iliana is passionate about advocating for and defending immigrants. She is delighted to help families stay together and pursue the American dream. Iliana is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and worked in both a fellowship and a firm specializing in immigration law. Iliana is fluent in Bulgarian and Spanish

KEN THAXTON

Attorney

Ken Thaxton was born and raised in Roberta, GA. When Ken was a child, his father started a trucking business, which Ken ultimately spent over ten years working with through his late teens and twenties. Ken graduated from Houston County High School in Warner Robins, GA in 2001 with a 4.0 GPA. He then studied Business and Information Technology at Macon State College, ultimately graduating with a 4.0 GPA in 2004. After graduation, Ken continued to work with his father’s trucking company, and in late 2005, Ken and his father started an aircraft charter company, Southern Jet, Inc., under Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. Ken served as President of Southern Jet from 2006 until 2010, when he and his father sold the company. Ken is a Commercially Licensed Instrument, Multi-Engine Pilot. While serving as President of Southern Jet, Ken started Law School at the University of Georgia School of Law in 2009. Ken focused primarily on business and civil law, including Workers’ Compensation, while at UGA. He graduated Cum Laude and in the top 25% of his class from UGA Law in 2012. Ken is a licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia, and he is also a licensed neutral (mediator) in the State of Georgia. Ken represents small businesses in transactional matters and business conflicts, and he also represents injured workers and Plaintiffs injured in cases of negligence. During his spare time, Ken enjoys swimming, cycling, sporting clays, and fishing. He also does charity work with a national scholarship fund

ALEXANDER LECCA

Attorney

Alexander Lecca (Alex) was born in Miami, Florida to immigrant parents from Cuba and Peru. Alex graduated from Coral Gables High School, where he was a recipient of the Elsa Glazer Award (given to students who graduate with a 3.5 GPA and above). He went on to study marketing at the University of Miami School of Business Administration. At the University of Miami he was also a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. After graduation, he went on to pursue a law degree from St. Thomas University School of Law. In law school, Alex received several book awards and graduated Cum Laude. During law school Alex clerked for the Honorable Beth Bloom, had an internship with the Miami-Dade County Public Defender’s office, and clerked for a prestigious litigation law firm. Alex is licensed to practice law in both Georgia and Florida and handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. He is also a registered mediator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. Alex is also fluent in Spanish. During his spare time, Alex enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and four children. He also helps coach his children’s baseball, football, basketball, and soccer teams. Alex and his family are parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church

DANIEL CASTAN 

Attorney

Dan Castan is a senior partner at Castan and Lecca, PC in Buckhead and represents injured workers before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and plaintiffs in State and Superior Courts of Georgia for injuries suffered in accidents. Dan litigated one of the seminal claims securing the rights of undocumented workers to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits in the state of Georgia when injured in the case of Wet Walls, Inc. vs. Ledesma. Dan has successfully fought and settled multi million dollar cases. He was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey to immigrant parents from Cuba. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College and received his Juris Doctor from The Washington College of Law at The American University in Washington D.C.  Dan was admitted to the Georgia Bar in November, 1993.  He is an active member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Atlanta Bar Association and the Workers’ Compensation Section of the State Bar of Georgia. Dan is a founding member and Director of the Latino Victory Fund Georgia and serves on the Board of The Latin American Association. Dan has been dedicated to getting Latinos elected to local, state and Federal offices in Georgia. He has been a Big Brother through Big Brothers and Sisters of Metro Atlanta and a mentor through The Latin American Association’s mentor/mentee program. Dan is married with two children.