Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
DearCustomer- The worst person to get legal advice from is a police officer so I would not say you "have nothing to worry about". On the other hand, if you have no record, it is unlikely you will go to jail on a first offense. Due to the fact that the penalties include possible jail it cannot be ruled out.
The best advice I can offer is for you to get an attorney and plead not guilty. You will then have an opportunity to have a pre trial with the prosecutor and obtain a possible plea bargain. Also it will be possible to have a better idea of the sentence involved.
I don't understand your question "how much will my summons be?" since there is no cost involved with a summons. If you are fined it could be anywhere in the range from $250 to $1000 but my guess would be in the $300-$400 range plus court costs. It is just impossible to know exactly what any court will do in a given case.
David Kennett - JD - Attorney at Law
Remember, I said it was my best guess about the fine,not that it would definitely be that amount. A trial of this nature couldn't possible last more than a couple of hours, if that. Unless there are a bunch of witnesses it will just be the police officer. I doubt seriously that this will ever go to trial. I am only suggesting that you plead not guilty in order to get into a position to get a possible plea bargain.
I understand and I'm not telling you to go to trial. Of course they will accept the officer's testimony. As I said, you need to plead not guilty in order to get the best possible deal as far as a possible plea bargain. You really need to get an attorney and if you can't afford one ask for one to be appointed by the court.
I cannot tell you what the ultimate fine might be. It is rare that the court would assess the maximum on a first offense not matter how you plead. Whether you plead guilty or not it should have nothing to do with the fine you may have to pay.
I would plead not guilty and that gives you the opportunity to talk with the prosecutor to get the best possible deal. I cannot promise you will automatically get what you want but if you plead guilty you are at the mercy of the court with no say in the matter.
I'm sorry about the not guilty plea but they would have let you plead not guilty but then there would have been a different day for the trial. In any event, assuming you get no further offenses you will probably be able to get this expunged from your record after a few years. The likelihood of winning at trial is slim in most of these cases so you probably came out of this as best as could be expected.
It makes me angry when I hear that a judge is not nice. They are supposed to be impartial and treat the public with respect. Not all live up to that standard.