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Nate, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 10685
Experience:  Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
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I was recently cited with public drunkenness in Ardmore, Pa.

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I was recently cited with public drunkenness in Ardmore, Pa. This is my first time ever being in trouble with the police and I'm not sure if I should plead guilty or not guilty. I only remember being handcuffed and spending 8 hours in jail which they said was necessary to sober up but I was never fingerprinted. The officer who released me told me I should plead not guilty since pleading guilty can become messy and costly. I really just want this mess cleared up and have sworn off alcohol and have also begun attending AA meetings. Will any of this make a difference in sentencing? Also which is the best route to go guilty or not guilty?
Thank you for your question. Be sure to go ahead and bookmark for future questions.

You never just plead guilty to anything. You always want to have a plea arrangement for your sentence worked out ahead of time with the prosecutor.

That you have been going to AA meetings is helpful. The charge itself is not really serious. That should be brought to the prosecutor's attention. You ought to be able to work out some sort of arrangement where you just pay a fine or do community service work. But, you always plead "not guilty" first and then plead only when you have a deal struck with the prosecutor.

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Thank you,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
So regardless of pleading guilty or not guilty i will still have to go before a judge? Also do you know how much fines tend to be for PI?
All criminal cases that can potentially result in jail time have to go before a judge.

The possible punishment for public drunkedness is up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300.00. Since you've had no previous trouble with the law, you're looking at some sort of fine. Jail time won't even be considered.
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