Entering a Plea. When in doubt, plead not guilty. Your plea can always be changed later if you change your mind. Pleading not guilty allows your attorney maneuvering room to plea bargain or represent you in trial. Pleading guilty or no contest means no plea bargaining. You may be a harsher punishment, and you may have to pay the fine or spend time in jail right away.
Do you need an attorney? If you are charged with an offense that is a Class B misdemeanor or higher, yes. If you are charged with a Class C misdemeanor, it depends. If you want to go to trial on the charge, you should have a lawyer. However, you are allowed by law to represent yourself if you choose to do so. If you want to plead guilty and pay the fine, you don't necessarily need an attorney, but an attorney might be able to get you a smaller fine. You would, of course, have to pay the attorney's fee.
Finding an Attorney: Ask friends of family for referrals. Your best best is to shop around and talk to several attorneys. Feeling comfortable with an attorney you choose is as important as the amount of the fee. You may also use our site to find a lawyer in your hometown or by zip code in your area of town. Keep in mind that the appeals process will almost always require an attorney as well.