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Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 22655
Experience:  14 years practicing criminal defense.
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my Goddaughter was summons for a dog nuisance standard,in compliance

Customer Question

my Goddaughter was summons for a dog nuisance standard,in compliance with the City's Ordinance. however, while the Ordinance cites "owner" of dog/cat or home; she is neither and told the Judge this when she pled "not guilty" I am disabled/homebound with brain injury/epilepsy and cannot drive pets to Vet so she does that and lists herself as contact to arrange pickup, for instance . my belief is she was "selected" by Complainant as "owner" to be summons as she has been on Probation before for marijuana possession,thus the "responsible" actions of owner has a better chance of being implied as "lesser" than my own..be that as it may..she is now awaiting a Pretrail date, while already scheduled for Trial date
In light of Animal Control 10 times coming to the house to verify/refute complaints, and zero times confirming any such complaint, i'd expect her "motion" to dismiss the case (added to the aforementioned "ownership" snafu - she has lived here three separate times in the 4 years i've owned the house
The ten visits, since June 2012 thru June 2013, inclusive, coincide with a new housing area being opened/construction of houses removing habitat - and whitetail deer often taking refuge in the greenbelt, abutting our fence

as I read it, as she is charged, I can be a "witness" as the lone individual seeing the animals when they are outside, and the one being briefed when Animal Control comes to the house

Please advise..she was not given an option of requesting court appointed attorney (as i said, likely not required) but if this "pretrial session" is to "make motions and provide witness list"..is the Complainant (Ordinance puts onus of proof upon them) required to attend?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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as I read it, as she is charged, I can be a "witness" as the lone individual seeing the animals when they are outside, and the one being briefed when Animal Control comes to the house
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That would be correct, if you have testimony or information that would aid in her defense to the charge, then you would be able to appear and be called as a witness to aid in her defense.

Please advise..she was not given an option of requesting court appointed attorney (as i said, likely not required) but if this "pretrial session" is to "make motions and provide witness list"..is the Complainant (Ordinance puts onus of proof upon them) required to attend?
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That is also correct in that it is unlikely that this is an offense that can carry possible jailtime. Typically a person is only legally entitled to a public defender if they are in a situation where they could possible receive jailtime. This tells me that the worst case scenario even if she were somehow found guilty of the offense would be a fine.
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But I would agree with you that if the ordinance is strictly construed, only the owner of the animal or the house can be cited for a violation.
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As for the Complainant having to show up for pretrial hearings, the answer is no, they don't have to appear. They only have to appear for the actual hearing as their role is simply as a witness for the prosecutor as he tries to prove his case. It isn't Complainant vs. Respondent...it is State/City vs. Respondent
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

good stuff, and on target; a fineable offense..as to access to animal Control visit documentation - "an open record" supposedly, should she request an Animal control representative provide recap/as one of her "witnesses"?

Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
should she request an Animal control representative provide recap/as one of her "witnesses"?
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Absolutely. As the representative of the city, if their testimony would support the fact that no violation has occurred it should actually be dispositive in the case and result in an immediate dismissal.
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.
Thanks
Barrister
Barrister, Criminal Defense Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 22655
Experience: 14 years practicing criminal defense.
Barrister and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.

Thanks so much for the positive rating and generous bonus, it is very much appreciated!

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. Please feel free to ask for me if you need help with anything in the future and I will do everything I can to help or get you to someone who can.

.

Barrister

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

almost an afterthought; as her "pretrial date" is upcoming..although i'm not cited and she is, may i legally "represent her" during the motions to dismiss the charges without jeopardizing my inevitably obvious role as "key witness"?

Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
although i'm not cited and she is, may i legally "represent her" during the motions to dismiss the charges without jeopardizing my inevitably obvious role as "key witness"
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Nope, only an attorney can legally represent someone. If you tried to, the judge wouldn't allow it as it could get you criminally charged with unauthorized practice of law. So your role would be limited to being a witness in her defense.
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./
Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

that was my guess; thanks for confirmation/expertisIn her pretrial, she can represent herself, can she not?

Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
Sure, someone can always represent themselves in court.
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

as i thought; thank you, Sir..if - a huge "if" as i see it, this case ever gets to a trail, can she, representing herself, with me as "key witness", ask for recesses, for the purpose of getting advice from me, or should she rely upon "talking points" and testimony of the called witnesses ?


really appreciate your counsel, Sir

Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
Well, if she needed to ask for a recess for ten minutes or so, then the judge would typically allow it. But she couldn't do so every time she got confused of needed to talk to you.
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So her best bet would be to outline her points and then go through them one by one when in court with the help from witnesses.
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

thank you so much for your insight, Sir

Expert:  Barrister replied 10 months ago.
You are very welcome. Glad to help.
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Thanks
Barrister

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