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Delta-Lawyer
Delta-Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3546
Experience:  Over A Decade Of Criminal Law Experience
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Tomorrow I have court a cigarette on the window while on the

Customer Question

tomorrow I have court for throwing a cigarette butt on the window while on the entrance ramp to a highway in the state of VA. The exact charge is here: http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title33.2/chapter8/section33.2-802/. I understand it was stupid to do, and honestly didn't know it was against the law (ironically, now while I drive I notice all the "Don't drop your butt" signs).
I had a hearing for shoplifting in May 2014 and was found guilty with 30 days suspended and 3 years of unsupervised probation. I was never told my provisions but I assume if I have another criminal charge then I may go to jail for ATLEAST 30 days. Since this is a class B misdemeanor I'm really stressed about the possibility of jail time. If this violates the unsupervised probation, is it mandatory for the judge to sentence me to jail or is it his call?
Also, I thought this was a pre-payable fine the entire time because the officer checked off "You may avoid coming to court if this block is checked and all instructions on defendant's copy are followed." But I found out when I went to pay this morning that this is not the case and I have court tomorrow now. Since this is all last second now, I have no lawyer to defend me, just me. Would it be wise to try to prolong the case since the officer checked off the box? Or if the possibility of jail time is low, should I just plead guilty.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

If this violates the unsupervised probation, is it mandatory for the judge to sentence me to jail or is it his call?

It is the judge's call, ultimately. It is best to have a reason why he should not enforce the sentence (like you have a job and kids to take care of, etc.).

Would it be wise to try to prolong the case since the officer checked off the box?

Under the circumstances, I think you need to ask for a continuance since the officer checked the wrong box and hire an attorney before the hearing. When you get an attorney, you need to make sure they have successfully worked with the prosecutor. Have the attorney approach the prosecutor to see if you can have the present charge either amended or remanded to the file if you can instead perform community service and the like to avoid any jail time or the conviction as a whole.

Let me know if you have any other questions or comments.

Please rate my answer positively as well (three or more stars).

Best wishes going forward!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the response! So tomorrow would I just say like "Your Honor, I am requesting a continuance for my case because the Summons issued to me states I may avoid court so I was unaware that I had to come to court today, until yesterday when I tried to pay my fine, because of this I was unable to find an attorney for myself in time." And then present my summons for him to review?Hypothetically, if I just plead guilty tomorrow what do you think my chances would be for going to jail.
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

That is exactly right. You respectfully ***** ***** bench (May I approach your honor?). That is the path you should take.

If you plead, there is at least a 50/50 chance you go to jail. If you get it continued and get an attorney, that drops to 25% or less IMO.

Let me know if you have any other questions or comments. Please rate my answer positively as well.

Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Just checking in with you to see if you have any additional questions based on what was shared earlier. I want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible moving forward with this issue. Thanks!