Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
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I was helping someone else but I'll go ahead and opt out since you apparently are in such a hurry that you you can't wait until I finish with them. Also, you didn't ask a question you just posted a bunch of facts.
Hello,I'm a NYS attorney. This is a B misdemeanor which at worst is certain to be reduced to a 140.05, which is also a trespass but is a violation and not a crime. If you wanted to dispose of it, you could pay a small fine and still be able to say that you'd never been convicted of a crime. It's the criminal court equivalent of a traffic ticket, and after a year it would seal by operation of law and would not be visible for most purposes.Law enforcement could find it, however, and if you do go to law school and pass the bar, you'd be expected to disclose the violation to the Character and Fitness Committee. They might grill you hard about the circumstances but I know colleagues and even judges in this state who once upon a time had a criminal violation. It should not be an impediment to admission to the NYS bar.However, you might be able to get an Adjournment in Contemplation of dismissal or even an outright dismissal if you show up with a lawyer. The outright dismissal (unusual) would be the best possible option, but it's not one you'd likely get without a lawyer.As for the substance of the case itself, public parks all close by a certain time, and you are deemed with the knowledge of the laws of your state, whether that's true or not. The fact that the officer made a mistake as to how many entrances and exits to the park is unlikely to damage his credibility when, in fact, you concede that you were there after hours. Although you could also fight the case and that way challenge the search, no contraband was recovered, so nothing can be suppressed, and you would not appear to have a strong case as to the charge itself.So get yourself a criminal lawyer. As you suspect, criminal cases can have lifetime consequences. If you try to play Perry Mason now and mess it up, you could likely become a lawyer with a misdemeanor conviction too, but it's a lot tougher and it might limit your options if you're counting on working for a good law firm.
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