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CrimDefense, CriminalDefenseAtty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26317
Experience:  10+ years defending Misdemeanor and Felony cases.
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I am 19 years old and an out of state student at Arizona State

Customer Question

I am 19 years old and an out of state student at Arizona State University. I have never had any legal problems before, but in February I was sent to the hospital by campus housing for alcohol poisoning. Two days later a cop showed up at my door and served me papers for a ticket of under 21 alcohol consumption. I have already been forced to attend and pay for 3 counseling sessions and a diversion program by my school, totaling $300. On top of that my hospital bill is nearing $3000. Obviously my sentence for pleading guilty to my ticket will be a large fine. I've been told that they can be up to $500. What is the best course of action to take when deciding how to plead to the judge? What will cost me the least money? I'm simply out of money and need to pay tuition so I'm not sure how to tell the judge that I am willing to participate in community service or any other type of punishment that will not cost me hundreds of dollars. What is your advice?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 6 years ago.
When you appear in court, see what options are available to you. If you are a first time offender, the court may offer you a diversion program, which would allow you to get this charge dismissed. Moreover, if you are going to take a plea or there is no option for a diversion program, you could ask if the court would allow you to work off any fines and costs through community service. Since it is your first offense, there should be no reason that you are hit with a high fine. However, if you do have to pay, you can also ask about a payment plan.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
When I spoke with the officer that issued me the ticket he said that I needed to know how I was going to plead before I went to court. I have heard that a lot of people will plead not guilty to avoid the fines and are then just given a diversion program. Will that actually work for me?
Expert:  CrimDefense replied 6 years ago.

You could inquire about the diversion program when your case is called. You do not have to enter any plea until you know what options are available. The court is not going to keep the program a secret from you if you are eligible and ask about it.