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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16633
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Read 2c 21-17.2 Ive been charge as a second degree crime using

Resolved Question:

Read 2c 21-17.2 I've been charge as a second degree crime using documents to obtain a DL this is my first offense it happened in oct 2009 4 years ago
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jacustomer,

Thank you for requesting me.

This offense is for using false documents to obtain a driver's license. Frequently people who do this are not eligible for a license because they are not in the US legally. If that's your situation, you need to post this in Immigration law because the problem is not just a criminal issue.

If that's not the case, you've given me the background here but not asked the actual question. So I need to know just what you want to know.

You said you took a plea but the prosecutor doesn't even know what the charge would be. I'm not sure what you mean by that, because you pled guilty to a specific charge. Are you saying that you pled guilty before you knew what the sentence would be? Did you do this without a lawyer? When is your next court date and what is supposed to happen on that date.

Use the reply tab below to respond so that your answer does not get lost on the site.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
"I'm a us citizen, the prosecutor called my house ask me to come down, he was very nice told me he had to deal with this before. But assured me as long as I was not hiding anything such as dwi, and this is my first offense, and I had no outstanding warrants just plead guilty cause it will look better in front of the judge, I did not have a lawyer nor told of any charge to plead guilty to he proceeded to ask did I obtain a Dl using my brothers info I said yes,3 months later I have my house surrounded and cops arrest me in front of my neighbors my kids and friends
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Your first mistake was talking immediately to the prosecutor rather than in going and finding yourself a lawyer to accompany you when you went to speak to him. Of course hs was very nice. He wanted you to confess to a crime, and you did so, which could be used against you and was.

Were you told at any point that you could have had counsel? Were you told of your rights?

And what is the question you want to ask, and the present status of your case?

 

It's 11 PM here on the east coast and I am turning in for the evening, but if you reply, I will answer this first thing in the morning. This all looks pretty irregular to me so far, but I want more information to see what can be undone.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes thank you, XXXXX XXXXX read my rights. I should be getting letter soon for my first court appearance, my brother is a lieutenant he said the charge does not fit the crime, but it seems I have no defense, have you seen case like this before, how does it play out, this is a 10 year prison term
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm still confused as to what has happened here. Earlier you have said that you have pled guilty to this charge.

But if you have never appeared in court before a judge, can you tell me why you think you pled guilty? Or did you just tell the prosecutor that you were guilty, which is not the same thing?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes I just told the prosecutor I was guilty when I came in for questioning, my question is what's my defense when I go to court my first time, I will plead not guilty they will set a trial, what's my defense, what do I tell the judge
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Okay, now I understand what you were telling me.

You were called in about this crime. The prosecutor told you that you did not have to answer questions. You chose to and admitted what you'd done.

This is never a great idea. Because now, when you ask, "What is your defense?" your confession takes away most possible defenses. However there still may be something for the defense to work with. It's just not anything I can talk about because it's going to depend entirely about the facts and circumstances behind the case, none of which I will get to know.

What you need to do is to come to court with a lawyer, because the DA now has the upper hand when it comes to this matter because of your statements. It will take a professional to protect your rights and maximize damage control. If you can afford one have him with you on your first date.

If you cannot afford an attorney, you need to plead not guilty when you come before the judge and then you ask him to appoint you a public defender. Our system of law says every criminal defendant is innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. So you MUST start off by pleading not guilty because anything else, (as you're beginning to see) closes doors for you. Only a not guilty plea keeps all of your rights open.

And that's all you have to tell the judge. If you're with a lawyer, your lawyer will handle the rest. If you're not, once you ask for the public defender he will grant a continuance and your lawyer will take it up on the next date.

Trials are not instantaneous. They can take months, a year even, to get to that point. You are probably never going to go to trial on this case, because you know that they could probably prove you guilty, since you know that you were, in fact guilty.

But pleading Not Guilty at your arraignment keeps your rights open and allows your lawyer to work out a plea agreement. Generally, with a non-violent offense and a first arrest besides, you are not going to have to worry about a jail sentence on a plea of guilty, but this has to be worked out in advance before you take back your plea of not guilty and substitute a guilty plea. Probably you are looking at nothing worse than probation, and it's possible that you can do better than that. It will all depend upon the facts and circumstances that will start to unfold on your first court date.

Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16633
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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