Hi Jacustomer,Disorderly conduct in NYS is a violation and not a crime. Even if you were to plead guilty to this offense, you could still honestly say that you'd never been convicted of a crime and dis cons seal automatically after a year, so long as you remain out of trouble that long. So your worst case scenario here is pretty good.Unfortunately with a low level offense like this it takes several weeks for this to get filed with the court and calendared. But it should only take three weeks or so and it should be ready to go before you move abroad.You can do this one of two ways. You can hire a lawyer to represent you and to advance the case so that you can dispose of it before you leave. A lawyer may be able to get this matter dismissed for you, which would be a better deal than a plea to the disorderly conduct. You could also leave the date the way it is and have a lawyer stand up on this case on your behalf. He should be able to resolve this matter without you and again, the worst case scenario is that you'd have an infraction on your record for a year, and then it would drop out of sight. Best case is that it's dismissed without you.
What you can't do, however, is to fail to show up, unless you have retained a lawyer to stand up on the case for you. If neither you nor a lawyer on your behalf answer the call of the calendar, a warrant will issue for your arrest, which could be inconvenient, to say the least, if you come back to the States.If you don't know where to find a criminal lawyer you can contact the NYS bar association's lawyer referral service. They charge a $35 fee to find you a lawyer but it includes a half hour free consultation wth the attorney. Good luck!
Thank you. So, do I have to plea guilty? I have done some reading about disorderly conduct cases and this hardly seems to qualify for one. I am still within the 48 hours (until tonight) and I am wondering if it is worth mailing them the plea form pleading not guilty. There is no place where I can even explain myself so I am not sure if it would get me any further. I wish I could somehow explain I was going home to my sick daughter (my wife called me about it right before this happened) otherwise I would have never even thought about doing this...
My family and I are just having a hard time figuring out how we could allocate thousands of dollars for a lawyer for something as frivolous as this case.
Thank you for your answer. In your experience, do you think it is worth fighting it? And if I were to fight it without a lawyer, could I still have the case dismissed or would I just waste my time? Also, can they change the court date upon request or is that unheard of?
I am really torn about what to do.
Thanks. I am also reading on the back of the summons that if I plead not guilty in person (at the time and date set for appearance), a second court appearance will then be required at a later date for trial. I was under the impression that the case would be solved on the day of the court date either with a fine or with a dismissal. Is this right?
On the other hand, if I mail in the plea form today, I would have to wait at least 30 days to find out when the court date would be, which could be way past the original date...
Also, can the case be dismissed even if I plead guilty? Thanks!
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