Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
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You are charged with a disorderly persons offense, you are extremely unlikely to go to jail if this is a first offense or even is you have a small number of minor priors. A disorderly persons offense has a maximum penalty of 90 days in the county jail, $1000 fine plus mandatory surcharges and fees of $200 or so plus a possible 1 year probation period. Obstructing Administration of Law is inappropriately overused by the police. The arrest for these charges are already on your record and a conviction will leave these entries there for 5 years.
It technically is a crime, and will be on your record for that period of time (if you're convicted), but it's almost certain that you will not have any actual jail time for it.
convicted of what?
should i plea guilty?
You can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. I would suggest pleading not guilty and trying to work something out with the prosecutors in exchange for changing your plea.
This charge is highly subjective, in the mind of the officer, so the jury may or may not even agree...
if i plead guilty now there is a chance of me sitting in jail?
(it might not even be prosecuted, depending on the facts... the prosecution might drop the case and choose not to pursue it if the facts are in your favor)
There's a chance, yes. The max is 90 days. But 99% of these cases don't result in jail.
i can plead not guilty and then plea bargain?
So it's highly unlikely. There's a chance you can win the lottery, but it's highly unlikely....
Yes, that's what I said.
You would want to try to work something out with the prosecutor.
(something that would not necessarily be on your record)
when do you do that? is that legal?
should i do this through a lawyer or myself?
After you plead not guilty, you can talk to the prosecutor. Yes, that's legal, certainly, as they have the prosecutorial discretion on how and if to pursue the acase.
I would suggest a lawyer, particularly if you don't already have a record. The reason is that keeping your record clean is worth more than keeping an additional blemish off an already tainted record. So while it's not as important if you have a record already, if you don't have a record, an attorney would be more valuable, as your chances of success increase with an attorney.
I have a clean record. whats the chances of hiring a lawyer and still getting in trouble?
It's impossible to give you a definite probability, because that depends on the facts, the prosecutor, the judge, the witness(es), other evidence, etc... I can tell you that your chances of getting off increase a lot with a lawyer than without. Think about it this way: you're going up against professionals whose job it is to prosecute people. If you were playing a game of basketball against professionals, you would probably lose. That's why you would want to hire a professional on your side to make your chances of success better.
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