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Bappelman
Bappelman, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Former Public Defender, Founder and Criminal Defense Attorney at Appelman Criminal Defense LLC.
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the state of ohio sent me a letter saying that i have to the

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the state of ohio sent me a letter saying that i have to the sept 15 2009 to write or appear before the court with a plea of guilty or not guilty. to the charge of possession of marijuana. i dont know what to do. because i live in the state of georgia
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Bappelman replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

It is fairly normal for a court to send out a letter telling defendants when they must appear in court.

If you cannot appear in court in Ohio on September 15th, you need to try to get a different date BEFOREHAND. This means that you could try to call the County Circuit Clerk in Ohio and ask if you can move your court date to a later date. Most counties will let you request a new court date once, to make it more convenient for you to get to court.

You could also hire a lawyer to get the date changed, or to simply go to court for you on September 15th. Your lawyer could try to make a deal with the prosecutor to dispose of your case, by a dismissal or by a plea deal. If they arrange a plea deal for you, it is highly likely that you would have to appear in court at a future date to plead guilty and get sentenced.

You cannot ignore the court date. If you do that a warrant will be put out for your arrest. And warrants never go away until you go to court, or until they catch you and take you to court.

Good Luck!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
what do you think will happen if i plea not guilty will i have to come in to court to see the judge or its best to plea guilty because my work will not give me any time off for this. the letter says that if i dont write of go to court by the 15 the bond will be forfeited and the ohio driver privileges will be suspended and that my home state may also suspend my driving privileges due to the charges in ohio. can they do that in two states
Expert:  Bappelman replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the reply.

Remember, you never have to plead guilty. That is for you to decide and the State cannot force you to plead guilty if you do not want to do so.

So you are saying that the letter you received gave you the option of pleading Guilty or Not Guilty by mail, or said that you could come to court. But you have to do one or the other on September 15th.

If you want to fight this charge, then you should plead Not Guilty. You would probably then have to go to court to have a trial, but the court would give you time to hire a lawyer and get ready for the trial.

If you simply want to plead Guilty, you could write that on the letter and mail that back to the court. You would get a sentence of some sort; possibly a fine, community service, even jail time. If you are going to plead Guilty you should probably hire a lawyer in Ohio to help you out.

Unfortunately the answer to your question about Driver's Licenses is yes. If one state suspends your license, then most other states will also suspend your license. It is part f a contract that 40 states agreed to called the "Interstate Compact". So if Ohio suspends your license, then it is very likely that Georgia will do so as well.

I hope that this answers your questions.
Bappelman, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 313
Experience: Former Public Defender, Founder and Criminal Defense Attorney at Appelman Criminal Defense LLC.
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