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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16378
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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hi I was charged with 602(k) trespassing (misdemeanor) ,

Customer Question

hi


I was charged with 602(k) trespassing (misdemeanor)


, my girlfriend, a friend and my self were at Disneyland downtown coming out of a concert walking towards parking lot, my friend  who was under the influence of alcohol had hard time walking so the Disney security brought a wheelchair for him and he told us to take a cab home. I refused since my girlfriend had not had at a drink and she could have driven the car without any problems, so then they call the police and they told me to leave, at this point my friend was lying down on the pavement so I did not want to leave him alone so I stood there.  So the police arrested me with 602(k) PC “Private Person’s Arrest” and they did not arrested my friend, instead they sent him to the ER. As far as my girlfriend she was told to take a cab home….


 


I am suppose to appear in court in 10/20/11, I do not know what to pleade  guilty or not guilty…Because I do not know which one will be best. I haven’t had any other charges or citations just one traffic ticket…


If I pleade guilty, what would the  Judge more likely do with my case? Dismiss it? Change misdemeanor to a fraction only?


If I pleade not guilty what would I have to do to so it doesn’t appear on my record….


 


What would be the best decision I could make here?


 


Thank you so much

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

You're going to need a criminal lawyer for this case, as it is a misdemeanor. Here is the Trespass statute with which you were charged. You will want to look at section (k) as this is what the state will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt if you wish to fight this case and take it all the way to trial. A lawyer, however, can probably bargain this down to a violation if you wanted to dispose of this fairly quickly without giving yourself a criminal record.

Your maximum risk if you wish to fight this case and don't succeed is a year in jail and while I don't think it's a particularly strong case for the state (so long as your girlfriend was clearly sober and would be willing to testify if necessary at trial), a conviction and a jail sentence is still a reality with which you will have to deal. So make sure you don't try to handle it yourself. Criminal cases have lifelong consequences and should be handled by someone who both knows what all of your rights and choices are and also protects them.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
What would happen if my lawyer cannot bargain it down to a violation? Would i still be in danger of facing a year in jail?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jacustomer,

If you have no contact with the criminal justice system, as long as you make your court appearances the possibility of jail for a case like this is about zero. Even if your lawyer couldn't get the violation (and I think he likely will) if you wanted to plead to the misdemeanor you would wind up with nothing worse than probation.

However, if you went all the way to trial and lost, that's a different story. Because if after all the evidence you are found to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt then what looks to me like a weak case automatically becomes a strong case and jail will be a likely result. That's why I say that your maximum risk is the year. It's unlikely even after a conviction that a first arrest would get sentenced to the max but it's not impossible.

I think that an experienced lawyer, and for that matter an experienced DA should see this for what it is and that the DA should be happy to reduce it to dispose of it quickly. I can't guarantee that, but at least in my neck of the woods, it's not worth more than the violation.


Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16378
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Zoey_ JD and 10 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Pleading the misdemeanor means trying to dismiss it or something?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

No. Pleading to the misdemeanor means saying you're guilty. I am not saying that you should do that. I was only trying to tell you that the only way you could end up doing jail time on this cases is if you go to trial and lose. Even a plea to the misdemeanor shouldn't get you worse than probation.

However, as I indicated, you do need to have a lawyer. If you can hire one, have him with you at your court date and he will tell you exactly what to do. If you can't afford one and have to ask for free counsel, plead NOT GUILTY when you are first asked how you plead. That is the only way you keep all of your rights open until you can be advised by a lawyer. Once that's done tell the judge you are without the means to afford to hire a lawyer and ask him to appoint you a public defense attorney.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I contacted my attorney and he said he will go to court for me...i guess is not necessary for me to go with him right?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 2 years ago.
Jacustomer,

It sounds to me that he has said that your appearance is not necessary on your court date, that he will be there for you, BUT you'd better check with him and make sure that is what he meant.

He is not the one who is mandated by law to be there. You are. So if you misunderstood him and don't show up the court could issue a warrant. Better to make a call and ask. When it comes to the criminal justice system, it is always better to be a little too careful than not careful enough.

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